During this referendum campaign I have been travelling around Scotland, meeting people and listening to the issues that matter to them.
And everywhere I go I hear stories about successful businesses creating jobs in Scotland. One thing connects them all: they’re doing well because Scotland is part of the United Kingdom.
We all benefit from being part of a larger integrated border-less economy, with common regulations and free movement of people. That is true about all of Scotland’s key sectors: financial services, renewable energy, defence manufacturing, life sciences, oil and gas or food and drink.
Only a few days ago over 130 business leaders went public to say that case for independence has not been made. These are some of the people who create the jobs and wealth that help make Scotland successful.
It’s easy to see why so many parts of Scotland are doing so well. The UK economy is recovering strongly with low interest rates and low inflation. Employment is rising and there are now 160,000 more jobs in Scotland than in 2010. Within the UK, we Scots have more and better opportunities.
I am in no doubt that the talent and dedication of the Scottish people is one of our greatest national assets. But that asset will yield even more success as part of the UK. That’s because the UK offers stability and strength, with certainty about our currency, better funded public services and safer savings and pensions.
And with a more powerful Scottish Parliament we can have the best of both worlds, so that we can find Scottish solutions to Scottish issues while remaining part of a stronger United Kingdom. Saying ‘no thanks’ to independence does not mean ‘no change’ – it means greater power for the Scottish Parliament. I want it to mean more power handed from Edinburgh back to communities in Scotland – not the centralising agenda we’ve seen from the SNP.
The nationalists’ obsession with separation, their shambolic uncertainty on currency and their wild overstating of revenues from North Sea oil as verified by Sir Ian Wood would derail our current recovery and make our public services, like the NHS, unaffordable.
We should all be incredibly proud of everything Scotland has achieved. Let’s make sure that our children and grandchildren can be even more successful as part of the United Kingdom – by voting “No Thanks”.