Following the Holyrood election, more than 160 senior business leaders have co-signed an open letter calling on the Scottish Government to rule out plans for a referendum breaking up the UK.

If you support the letter, please provide your details and become an SBUK subscriber or consider making a donation. Every pound raised will help us keep campaigning to make the Scottish Government focus on pandemic recovery and not a referendum.

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Open letter from Scottish business leaders

16 May 2021

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.


Gordon Adam, Managing Director, Drumgolf Tours Ltd

Hugh Andrew, Managing Director, Birlinn Ltd

Charles Armitage, Co-Founder & CEO, Florence

Mark Austin, Managing Director, Chadburns Mollart PT

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 CMG, Company Director

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 Director

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

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,

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

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