My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I firmly believe that Scotland is the ideal destination for international inward investment, and we have taken a range of actions to promote such investment. My right hon. Friend recently led the largest ever Scottish trade delegation to Brazil to promote closer business links with a key emerging market for the Scottish economy.
In contrast to the previous intervention, will the Minister acknowledge that international companies investing in Scotland since the re-election of the Scottish National party Scottish Government include INEOS, PetroChina, Dell, Gamesa, Amazon, Hewlett Packard and Mitsubishi Power Systems? Does he acknowledge that and welcome the investment?
That is the usual mantra that we hear from Government Members. Will the Minister respond to Scotland’s leading entrepreneur, Jim McColl, who said on this very subject that business is “not concerned” about the
“independence referendum…What many of us in business are convinced about is that a productive and prosperous future for this country depends on securing real economic powers for the Parliament through constitutional change”?
Will the UK Government drop their foolish conditions, so that we can secure that change in the autumn of 2014?
I am sure the hon. Gentleman will agree that Mr McColl is entitled to his opinion, as is any other citizen of Scotland. I am sure you will encourage them, as your own party’s Scottish Government already have, to contribute to our consultation on the independence referendum.
Does my right hon. Friend believe that were Scotland to become separate from the United Kingdom, and were it to be forced to join the eurozone as a condition of re-entry into the European Union, that would hinder or help inward investment into Scotland?