Following the recent announcement by Standard Life that it is making relocation preparations as a result of uncertainties and concerns over issues like currency and which would put the jobs of thousands of Edinburgh residents at risk, Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray has written to SNP MSPs asking them to be clear that the will stand up for their constituents jobs.
Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South and Labour’s Shadow Business Minister said:
“I’m hugely concerned that the uncertainty of the SNP’s separation plans would cost thousands of people in my constituency their jobs. if Standard Life left it’s Edinburgh base in the event of Scotland separating from the rest of the UK.
“Standard Life have legitimately expressed in public what they and others have been saying in private for some time. Their concerns about the disarray of the SNP’s currency plans are clear and they have begun to put in place contingency plans in the event of a yes vote. For the SNP to just dismiss this does a disservice to their constituents, and the thousands of people who are in employed in the financial services sector across our city. How can people and businesses, like Standard Life be expected to take a big leap in the dark with separation if those arguing in favour of it can’t even get their story straight on something as fundamental as the currency we use?
“The primary role of an elected politician is to stand up for their constituents. SNP MSPs in South Edinburgh should be clear that they will stand up for their constituents jobs, instead of their obsession with their constitutional vanity project. They were elected to represent not jeopardise their constituents’ jobs.”
Letter to SNP MSPs, Kenny MacAskill, Gordon MacDonald and Jim Eadie, who represent constituencies in South Edinburgh:
Dear Mr MacAskill,
Following the recent announcement from Standard Life that it is making contingency plans in the event of Scotland’s separation from the Rest of the UK, I wanted to write to you to seek your views and assurances.
The Scottish financial services sector employs 85,000 people directly and helps support 100,000 jobs indirectly in Scotland. Indeed, Edinburgh is the financial hub of Scotland and I am proud that at the number of major financial corporations with headquarters or bases within our city, one being Standard Life. Despite the recent problems with the financial services sector it is critical to both the Scottish and UK economies.
Focussing locally, Standard Life provides thousands of jobs to our constituents in the South of the city. Do you agree therefore that it would be hugely complacent of any elected representative to ignore one of the biggest employers in our city expressing real concerns and reservations about the possible separation of Scotland from the rest of the UK? I would hope that you would agree with me that the primary responsibility of any elected member is to represent his or her constituents and that any threat to a significant number of jobs should be a considerable concern for us all.
We disagree fundamentally on independence but I am sure you would wish to join me to ensure our constituents do not lose their jobs and livelihoods as a result of the Scottish Government’s policy on the constitution.
I believe that the focus of politicians must be primarily on the retention and creation of jobs in their constituency and I hope you will respond positively to how you are going to do this in the light of the announcements made by Standard Life and others.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Ian Murray MP