Scottish independence: Grangemouth 'not affected' by referendum vote

Grangemouth The Grangemouth oil refinery, which is owned by Ineos, employs more than 1,300 people

The result of the independence referendum will not make a difference to the future of the Grangemouth oil refinery, according to its boss.

Jim Ratcliffe, whose company Ineos operates the plant, told the BBC: "It will survive in both scenarios."

Speaking on the Today programme, he said: "I don't think the Scottish vote will make any difference to Grangemouth one way or the other."

The petrochemical giant employs more than 1,300 people at Grangemouth.

A spokesman for the pro-Union Better Together campaign said businesses benefited from being part of the UK.

He added: "While we respect Jim Ratcliffe's view, there is an advantage to being part of something bigger.

"This was evident last year when the UK government was able to provide tens of millions of pounds of loan guarantees to Ineos in order to assist in keeping Grangemouth open."

Industrial dispute

However, the pro-independence Yes Scotland campaign said independence would lead to policies tailored to help business in Scotland.

"Increasing numbers of businesses - small, medium and large - are acknowledging that Scotland is an excellent place to do business, and will continue to be so after the referendum," the spokesman said.

"With the full powers of independence we can introduce policies tailor-made to suit Scottish businesses and their workforces, which in turn will enhance further Scotland's position as one of the most prosperous countries in the world."

The Grangemouth complex was the site of a bitter industrial dispute between the Unite union and Ineos last year.

The dispute led Ineos to threaten to close part of the site if workers did not agree to a rescue package to help secure its future.

Unite had threatened strikes over the suspension of a union official, Stevie Deans, but later accepted the company's proposals, and Mr Deans resigned from his job.

Voters in Scotland will go to the polls on 18 September, when they will be asked the "Yes/No" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

In the past few weeks, several companies have been stating their positions in relation to the Scottish independence referendum.

Standard Life, British Airways, Lloyds, Ryanair, BP, Shell, RBS and Aviva are among the businesses that have made their views public.

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