Salmond insists independent Scotland will be more competitive for business


Alex Salmond said he was confident Standard Life "will find Scotland a good place to do business" and more competitive after independence, during first minister's questions on 26 February 2014.

Standard Life's announcement that it may move some of its operations outside Scotland in the event of independence had sparked a political row.

The company said it was putting the contingency plan in place because of uncertainty over issues such as currency.

Both the leaders of Scottish Labour and the Scottish Conservatives raised the comments to argue independence would cost jobs and cause companies to leave.

Johann Lamont said Standard Life were "actively making plans to leave Scotland if the first minister gets his way".

The leader of Scottish Labour was rebuked twice by the presiding officer for accusing Mr Salmond of "denial, deception and delusion".

Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick said the word "deception" was unacceptable.

Ms Lamont went on to say: "Alex Salmond's plans would do more damage to Scotland than even Margaret Thatcher."

The first minister hit back saying her words were a "concoction of nonsense".

He accused opposition party leaders of scaremongering and said the government would be pointing to Scotland as a good place to run a business, with a currency union and a secure regulatory environment.

Mr Salmond added other "major figures" in the financial sector "recognise that the operation of their business in an independent Scotland could be highly successful".

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, said the first minister could not accuse everyone who spoke against independence of conspiracy.

She said: "Standard Life just told us their plan B, why won't the first minister?"

Mr Salmond said the only conspiracy taking place was that of the "Conservatives and other scaremongers" who misrepresented what Standard Life and others had said.

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