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article imageScotland Referendum leads to business rethink

By Amanda Payne     Feb 27, 2014 in Business
Glasgow - The looming Referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent country is already having a knock on effect, months before the vote takes place, with businesses rethinking their plans for their future in Scotland.
Standard Life, a large pensions, insurance and savings firm based in Edinburgh, announced today, February 27, that it is seriously thinking of transferring parts of its business to England if the vote is a yes for independence.
The chairman of Standard Life told the BBC that "we will take whatever action we consider necessary - including transferring parts of our operations from Scotland - in order to ensure continuity and to protect the interests of our stakeholders." The company has had its headquarters in Scotland for 189 years.
The company is the first large business to reconsider its options in such a public way following concerns about the possibilities of how Scotland would function as an independent state, especially in regards to what currency it would use.
Chairman Gerry Grimstone said "We will continue to seek further clarity from politicians on both sides of the debate, so that we can reach an informed view on what constitutional change may mean for our customers, our business and our shareholders."
The referendum is due to take place on September 18, with the people of Scotland choosing between whether to remain part of the union of Great Britain or to go it alone as an independent country.Questions such as what currency would be used, whether an independent Scotland could remain as part of the European Union and what would happen in regards to the armed forces based in Scotland have been hotly debated.
For a company as large as Standard Life to express concern about Scotland's future as an independent country is a big deal for both sides of the debate, especially as it is likely a large number of people would lose their jobs. Other businesses, large and small, are already looking carefully at the situation and putting in to place contingency plans to ensure their businesses will be affected as little as possible by a Yes vote.
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