Scottish independence: BSkyB says debate is 'for the Scottish people'

Sky logo BSkyB employs more than 8,000 people in Scotland, including outsourced jobs

Satellite broadcaster BSkyB has said it has no plans to change its business in Scotland, whatever the outcome of September's independence referendum.

In an internal memo, the company said "the independence question is a constitutional one for the Scottish people".

The memo continued: "We like being in Scotland. And we have no plans to change that."

BSkyB is one of Scotland's largest private sector employers.

A Sky spokesman said the memo, which has been circulated on Twitter, was "a note that went to staff on our internal website."

It was written by Graham McWilliam, BSkyB's director of corporate affairs, who appears to have been asked by employees about the impact of a "Yes" vote.

Start Quote

Scotland will continue to be an important part of our business, whatever the voters decide in September”

End Quote Graham McWilliam BSkyB

The note reads: "The first thing to say is that the independence question is a constitutional one for the Scottish people. It's not something that Sky takes a view on corporately.

"Scotland will continue to be an important part of our business, whatever the voters decide in September.

"I'm aware that many other companies have made statements in the media but we believe it's best to leave the talking up to politicians and let the people have their say."

Sky's spokesman said: "The issue of independence is a constitutional matter for the Scottish people to decide through the forthcoming referendum and it's not for us to speculate on the outcome.

"We like being in Scotland having been there from the very start of the business 25 years ago.

"We provide home entertainment and communications services to around 40% of Scottish homes and have more than 6,400 employees based in Scotland. We have no current plans to change that."

The memo came to light on the day that the Weir Group, which employs 600 people in Scotland, released a document setting out its response to the independence debate.

'Major risks'

Responding to Sky's memo, a spokesperson for the pro-Union Better Together campaign said: "Sky is entitled to remain neutral in this debate, and everybody should respect that stance.

"Whilst Sky do not plan to speak out one way or another, a number of Scotland's largest employers, including the Weir Group today, have already said that leaving the UK would involve major risks and cost jobs.

"Without answers on what would replace the pound, how pensions would be funded or how we would get back into the EU, Scots are being asked to take a giant leap into the unknown.

"As part of the UK we can have the best of both worlds - a strong Scottish Parliament, with the guarantee of more powers, backed up by the strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK. We are stronger and better together."

'Rich economy'

A Scottish government spokesperson commented: "We welcome Sky's memo and the understanding of one of Scotland's largest private sector employers that the outcome of the referendum is a matter for the people of Scotland.

"We also welcome their endorsement of the skills and abilities of their staff in Scotland who have helped build the business over 25 years.

"Scotland is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and independence brings opportunities to build on its strengths and opportunities.

"Standard & Poor's recently published analysis confirms that Scotland has a rich and diversified economy. They concluded, that even without North Sea oil, and calculating per capita GDP only by looking at onshore income, Scotland would qualify for their highest economic assessment."

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