Welcome for Hunter referendum comments

The SNP has welcomed an article by Scottish business leader and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter, in which he argues against a rushed referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future, for a positive debate and condemns the scaremongering of the anti-independence parties.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Sir Tom says: “Many now seem to be arguing that we need the vote before 2014. Why? We have only lightly touched the edges of the debates we need for our country’s future; do they really want to compress that debate for political expediency. A speedy referendum might suit some, but it certainly does not suit democracy.

“So as we reach out towards a vote that will determine the future of our great nation for the foreseeable future, ask yourself this – who has the ambition, the drive and determination to make this nation great once more.

“Ultimately, our politicians create the framework within which can all succeed or aspire to mediocrity. I would like to see the debate on independence anchored in ambition and I think it is time for those politicians who use scaremongering as a tactic to halt the independence bandwagon to stop; it’s a recipe for delivering precisely what they don’t want, because Scottish voters are not daft.”

Welcoming the comments, SNP Independence Referendum Campaign Director, Angus Robertson MP, said:

“Sir Tom Hunter is one of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs and philanthropists, so his comments on the independence referendum are very welcome and will, I hope, be influential in the conduct of the debate ahead.

"Sir Tom's calls for a positive debate, his condemnation of scaremongering, and support for the Scottish Government's timescale for the referendum, are particularly welcome and a blow for the anti-independence parties.

“The independence debate will come down to which vision of Scotland’s future inspires and enthuses people the most, and all the evidence shows that the pro-independence campaign is winning that debate.

“Over the coming weeks and months we will set out the arguments for independence, and make the case for the people of Scotland taking the decisions about what happens in Scotland. That is a compelling case and it will be made by people who have the trust of the people of Scotland.”