Jim McColl hardhat Square

Company directors unite to stop IndyRef2


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AN OPEN LETTER that appeared in The Sunday Times Scotland calling on the Scottish Government to rule out plans for a referendum breaking up the UK has so far been signed by 162 senior business leaders.  

Representing companies employing tens of thousands across Scotland, the UK and Ireland, the men and women at the head of some of Scotland’s most established and newest businesses, such as Jim McColl (above) have united behind the campaign coordinated by independent, non-party business group Scottish Business UK (SBUK) to insist that saving lives and livelihoods, protecting jobs and ensuring businesses survive must be the Scottish Government’s priority in the wake of the pandemic.  

The message from business reflects the same message sent by voters to politicians of all parties at last week’s elections: they expect the new Scottish Government to steer the country through the Covid-19 crisis toward long term recovery. That entails setting aside plans for a referendum on breaking up the UK so that the attentions and energies of policymakers are undivided.  

The support received for this letter shows that business leaders in Scotland are of the same opinion that plans for a referendum are a huge distraction from the task at hand. The Scottish Government needs to listen and stop trying to position the election result as a pretext for breaking up the UK, which is by far Scotland’s biggest market. 

Since its publication and an accompanying news article in The Sunday Times, other major news outlets that have covered the letter, including The TimesThe HeraldThe Scottish Daily ExpressThe Press & Journal and Daily Business.   

SBUK, of which I am CEO, is now urging other business leaders who support the letter’s message to become signatories or sign up as subscribers or donors to the organisation.  A full copy of the letter and signatories is copied below.  

To find out how to support SBUK visit https://scottish-business.uk/support-sbuk/.     

Post-election letter from business leaders  

THE PEOPLE of Scotland used the election to send politicians a clear and unambiguous message: the new Government has been voted into power to steer the country through the Covid-19 crisis.  

The stakes could not be higher. Scottish voters want and deserve a Scottish Government that will focus all of its energy on recovery from the pandemic – saving lives and livelihoods, protecting jobs and ensuring that businesses survive.    

Every political party standing in the election put responding to and recovering from Covid at the heart of their manifestos. Fulfilling those promises means ruling out a referendum while our economy and businesses are still suffering.    

A divisive and distracting referendum on separation would put any chance of sustaining economic recovery at risk. This is not the time to be throwing into question our economic ties to the rest of the United Kingdom, which has guaranteed the survival of thousands of Scottish jobs through the pandemic and remains Scotland’s biggest market by far.  

The decisions taken in the coming years about how Scotland emerges from this pandemic will define this country for decades to come.  

The Scottish Government should put everything else aside and remain laser-focused on the Covid-19 crisis and recovering from the significant economic damage it has caused. Doing anything else would not be in the best interests of the Scottish people and future generations.    

Issued c/o Scottish Business UK (SBUK)  

Stuart House, Station Road, Eskmills, Musselburgh EH21 7PB  


Gordon Adam, Managing Director, Drumgolf Tours Ltd  

Hugh Andrew, Managing Director, Birlinn Ltd   

Charles Armitage, Co-Founder & CEO, Florence  

Walter Barr, Senior Consultant, Drummond Consultants   

Alan Baxter, Director, Davidson Baxter Partnership Ltd  

Charlotte Black, Founding Director, Artclear Ltd  

Iain Black, Managing Director, IBT Travel Ltd  

Cameron Bryce, Company Director, Sculptur Ltd  

Jonathan Bruneau, Director, Headstart Nursery Schools Ltd  

Ian Burgess, Director, Linked IT Ltd  

William Carmichael, Global Account Manager, Securitas  

Mike Channing, CEO, Cordatus Real Estate  

Colin Clark, Chairman, Nessgro  

Sandy Clark, Non-Executive Director, Global E&C  

Ian M P Condie CA, Consultant  

Cllr Barney Crockett, Councillor (Aberdeen City Council)

Tommy Crooks, Managing Director, Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company   

Syd Daily, Company Director, Syd Daily Consultant Ltd  

Allan Dawson, Director, Portland Street (Scotland) Limited   

Ken De Soyza, Sole Business Owner, CAA Drone Pilot, Astra UAV Operations  

Colin Devine, Property Agent, Devine Property Consultants Ltd  

Belinda Dickson OBE, Founder, Belinda Robertson, Cashmere Circle & BJD Design Ltd   

Ghill Donald, Chairman, BD Network  

Mike Elliott, Managing Director, Linell Group Ltd  

David Ellis, Chairman, OMC Partners Ltd  

Terence Erskine, Director, Coast To Coast Travel Ltd  

Angelina Fairgrieve, General Manager, The Travel Company Edinburgh & In2Scotland   

Graham R Figes, Managing Partner, Whitelaw Baikie Figes  

Gwyneth Fleming, CEO, G.S. Associates Ltd  

Jon Fleming, Chief Executive, The Jon Fleming Group Ltd  

Chris Flockhart, Managing Director, The Garden Doctor   

Angus Forsyth, Chairman, Nexus Business Space  

William Frame, Managing Director, Braemore Estates  

Andrew Gladstone, Owner, Craichlaw Estate  

Robert Gladstone, Partner, R H Gladstone & Co  

Iain Graham, Partner, Aird Farming Group  

Puneet Gupta, Joint Chief Executive Officer, PG Paper Company Ltd  

Kevin Hague, Chairman, These Islands  

John Hailstone, Chairman, Compello Staffing Group   

Fred Hallsworth, Independent NED & Corporate Adviser  

Gary Hamilton, Director, Stagecoach Performing Arts Glasgow  

Fergus Hardie, Managing Director, Hardie Polymers   

Tom Harris, Non-Executive Director, Third Avenue Public Affairs Ltd  

Amanda Harvie, Company Director  

Mark Henzell, Director, Glenkindie Business Support Ltd    

Sandy Herd, Director, Edinburgh Provisions Ltd  

Gavin Hewitt, Company Director, CMG  

Sandra Hill, Company Director, Manor Estate & Lettings Agency  

Scott McKenzie, Company Owner, estreetshops  

Sir Michael Hirst, Company Chairman  

Sir David Hope-Dunbar, Managing Partner, St. Mary’s Isle Estate  

Alasdair Houston MBE, Chairman, Gretna Green Ltd  

David Houston, Director, Houston Investment Holdings Ltd  

Peter Howard Johnston, Company Director, Howard Johnston Cars   

Sarah Jane Hunt, Owner/Managing Director, Purple (UK) Ltd  

Dr Azeem Ibrahim, Chair, Ibrahim Foundation  

Ian Irvin, Owner, Ian Irvin & Co  

Angus Jack, Chief Investment Officer, North Capital Management  

Caroline Jack, Life Coach, Caroline Jack Life Coaching   

Joy Jack, Business Owner, Joy Jack Interiors  

Alex Jardine, Managing Director, Load Straps & Slings Ltd  

David Jarvie, Managing Director, Jarvie Plant Ltd  

Brian Johnstone, Managing Director, Lothian Caregivers Ltd  

Shannon Kidd, Bakery Owner, Cake by Shannon   

Robert D. Kilgour, Founder & Chairman, SBUK  

Vijay Kumar, Managing Director, Harveys Group  

Farquhar Laing, Director, Black Isle Bronze Ltd  

Scott Landsburgh, Company Owner / Managing Director       

Ross Laurie, Co-Founder & CEO, Visible Capial  

Ken Lewandowski, Chairman, Emblation Medical Limited  

Emma Little, CEO and Founder, ExecSpace  

Gordon Livingstone, CEO, The Edge Agency Ltd  

Neil Lovatt, Commercial Director, Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited  

Sheila Low, Non-Exec Director            

Reiner Luyken, Director, Polbain House Farm Limited  

Angus MacDonald, Chairman, Renewable Parts Ltd  

Prof. Ronald MacDonald OBE, Chair of Macroeconomics & Int. Finance, University of Glasgow  

Robin MacGeachy, Chairman, Peak Scientific Instruments  

Chris Mackenzie, Director, East Lothian Property Management Ltd  

Donald MacKenzie, Director, Drive Business Services Ltd  

Elaine R MacKenzie, Director, Namaste Partnership Limited  

Kenneth MacKenzie, Founder & Chief Executive, Target Fund Managers Ltd  

Alastair MacMillan, Managing Director, White House Products Ltd  

Dr Richard J Marsh, Company Direct   

Paul Mason, Partner & Head of Corporate Finance, Chiene + Tait LLP  

Les McAndrew, Senior Partner, Graham & Sibbald  

Jim McColl OBE, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Clyde Blowers Capital IM LLP (pictured above)   

Iain McGill, Director, The Harmony Employment Agency   

John McGlynn, Founder, Scottish Capital  

Tony McInnes, CEO, Caley Construction Ltd  

Mairi McLellan, Director, Badachro Hydro  

Sir Iain McMillan CBE FRSE                

Darren P. McMurray, CEO, PFI Group  

Hugh McNally, Managing Director, Forsyth of Denny Ltd  

Ann Medlock, Director, Golden Decanters  

Alex Meldrum, Owner Director, ASM Development  

Diana Miers, Director, Scottish Clans and Castles Ltd  

Carolyn Miller, Owner, Millers Tale  

Dr James S Milne, Chairman & Managing Director, Balmoral Group  

Graham Mogford, Partner, The Bridges Partnership LLP  

Marie Mogford, Principal, The Bridges Pre School Nurseries Ltd  

Baroness Nosheena Mobarik CBE     

Brian Monteith, Editor, ThinkScotland.org   

Lawson Muncaster, Co-Founder & MD, City AM  

Robert Napier, Director, John Smith&Company (Edinburgh) Ltd  

Maureen O’Neill, Managing Director, The Social Care Community Partnership   

Ian Paltiel, Director, Internet Creation  

Domenico Panetta, Owner/Director, Migele Experience Ltd  

John Penman, Managing Director, Fife Fabrications  

Jack Perry CBE, Chairman, European Assets Trust PLC  

Jim Pickard, Managing Director, Foodscience Ltd  

John Quinn, Chairman, Bluewater Scotland LLP  

Catherine Quinney, Director, Guyana Ltd  

Will Ramsay, CEO, Ramsay Fairs  

Anthony Reid, Professional Racing Driver  

David Reid, Managing Director, Because Brands Matter   

Michael H Reid, Director, MH Reid Consulting Limited  

Kenneth R Richards, Business Consultant  

Jeremy Richardson, Chief Executive, Four Seasons Health Care Group  

Ian Robertson, Proprietor, DC Robertson Contractors  

John Robertson, CEO, Entertainment Seating (UK) Ltd  

Colin Rowley, Group Managing Director, Dron & Dickson Group  

Murray Roxburgh, Managing Director, Grail PR Ltd  

Kenneth Russell, Non-Executive Director, Panmure Estates Ltd  

Lucinda Russell, Race Horse Trainer, Lucinda Russell Racing  

Michael J Salter, Company Director, James Fisher & Sons  

Katherine Sangster, National Manager, Scottish Fabians  

Robin Shedden, Director, A & J Shedden Ltd  

Duncan Shreeve, Director, Duncans of Grantown Ltd  

Barry Sime, Managing Director, Sime Racing & Engineering Ltd  

Charles Simon, Organ Director, Video Marketing and Sales Ltd  

Grant Simpson, Director, Etive Consulting Engineers Limited  

Colin Smart, Managing Director, Kingdom Homes Ltd  

Tom Smith, Chairman, Inverusk Services (Aberdeen) Ltd  

Paul Sokhi, Managing Director, Morrison Community Care Group  

Keith Steele, CEO, IOTech Systems  

Guy Stenhouse, Chairman, Shancastle Investments Limited  

Chris Stevens, CEO, Kangaroo Self Storage Ltd  

Allan Stevenson, CA & Company Director  

Colin Stevenson, Director/Owner, 3D Exhibitions Ltd   

Struan Stevenson, Chief Executive, SBUK  

Ewen Stewart, Director, Walbrook Economics  

Jamie Stewart, Managing Director, McDonald Water Storage  

Anthony Stodart, Managing Director, ArdMoor Ltd  

Mungo Taylor, Managing Partner, M F Taylor Road Haulage  

Alan Thomson, Partner, Forth Fire Protection  

Eileen Thomson, Director, Thomson Interim Management Ltd  

Susanne Thorsen, Director, Thorsen Translations Ltd  

Gilad Tiefenbrun, Managing Director, Linn Products Ltd  

Chris Tiso, CEO, Tiso Group  

Bill Toner, CEO, CH&CO  

Ashlie Turner, Managing Director and Founder, Magenta HR Consulting Ltd  

Lally Walford, Director, Lally Walford Interiors Ltd   

David Walker, Director, Bruce Douglas Marketing Ltd  

Cllr Derek Wann, Director, SARKAR Dev Ltd  

M.L. Weddell, Property Developer  

William Wemyss, Chairman, Wemyss Development Company Ltd  

Niall Whyte, Managing Director, The Real Firewood Company Limited  

Andrew Wilson, Manager, Blackchub Farming Company  

Brian Wilson, Director, Paterson (Scotland) Ltd  

John Wilson, Manager/Owner, The Corner Shop  

David Young, Director, David Young + Co  

Sunday 16 May 2021   

Scottish Business UK (SBUK) is an independent, non-party voice for business leaders who want to see Scotland thrive economically as part of the United Kingdom. SBUK is a registered company known as ‘SB Supports the Union Ltd’. https://scottish-business.uk  

SBUK’s Advisory Council currently has a membership overseeing business interests that together employ over 10,000 people in Scotland and 35,000 people across the UK and Ireland.  Profiles of each member can be read at https://scottish-business.uk/about-us/.   


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