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Pro-independence investors hit back as Cameron readies warning

Julia Rampen
Written By:
Julia Rampen

Angus Tulloch and others have signed an open letter declaring independence is in Scotland’s economic interest, but prime minister David Cameron has cautioned on the possible impact on Scottish financial services.

The letter to The Herald serves as a rebuttal to that sent yesterday by 130 pro-union business leaders to The Scotsman, which warned the business case for independence has not been made.

As well as the First State manager, the 200 signatures included the chair of asset manager Toscafund and former RBS chief executive Sir George Mathewson, venture capitalist John Innes and start-up investor Peter de Vink.

Other signatories come from the wider financial sector as well as other major industries.

The letter argues an independent Scotland will recognise entrepreneurs “small and large” as the job creators of the nationa’s economic future.

The exchange of views comes as UK prime minister David Cameron prepares to address business leaders on the subject. He is expected to emphasise that 90 per cent of Scottish financial services’ customers are located south of the border in a speech later today.

“Scotland does twice as much trade with the rest of the UK than with the rest of the world put together […] trade that helps to support one million Scottish jobs,” Cameron is to say.

“For some industries, the proportion of trade with the rest of the UK is even higher — 90 per cent of Scottish financial services’ customers are in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

This morning’s letter, meanwhile, saw the pro-independence investors suggest a Yes vote will encourage a culture of enterprise: “It will place power in the hands of Scotland’s people to channel the huge resources of our country in the interests of those who live and work here,” they said.

The more pressing threat to Scottish business is the “real possibility of a British exit from the European common market,” the letter added.

In yesterday’s letter to The Scotsman, No-voting business leaders argued more than one million jobs were supported by the union and that “much is at stake” as the referendum approaches.

To read how Shaun Port, chief investment officer of Nutmeg, sees Scottish independence playing out for investors click here