Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Michelle Mone threatens to leave Scotland

Michelle Mone
Image caption Michelle Mone said independence would be "bad for business"

Scottish lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone has threatened to move to England if Scotland votes for independence.

Ms Mone said she would take her business to London in the event of a "Yes" vote in the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence.

She told the Sunday Times she feels Scotland could not survive on its own as "everything would go up".

First Minister Alex Salmond said that under independence business tax would be lowered.

He also pointed out to the BBC's Andrew Marr show that Ms Mone had made a similar threat before the 2007 Scottish elections.

Ms Mone, co-owner of MJM International and creator of lingerie brand Ultimo told the Sunday Times: "I will move my business and I will move personally.

"I don't think we can survive on our own and I think it would be really bad for business.

"Everything would go up and I really don't think we need it at the moment."

Ms Mone, from Glasgow, who was awarded an OBE in 2010, ranks among the UK's most successful businesswomen.

Her comments follow concerns raised by other Scottish business figures, including Boyd Tunnock, managing director of Tunnock's, that delay in posing the referendum question will harm the economy.

In his response, Mr Salmond said: "Michelle's concerns seem to be predicated on the idea that we'd put tax up.

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Media captionAlex Salmond said that under independence business tax would be lowered

"In fact, our strategy is to lower business tax which I think will be very helpful, not just at persuading Michelle Mone to stay but attracting lots of other businesses to Scotland."

When asked about whether Mr Salmond would want to see a second question on the ballot paper on whether there should be more powers for the Scottish Parliament, sometimes known as devolution max, he said he would "listen to the voices in Scotland".

"If the demand for fiscal autonomy is there it would only be democratic and fair to allow that question," he said.

He added that Prime Minister David Cameron "would do well to listen to the voice of the people".

When asked about the Royal Bank of Scotland awarding its chief executive Stephen Hester almost £1m as a bonus, Mr Salmond called for discipline on pay levels across the public sector, and blamed Labour and the Conservatives for not taking action.

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