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SWA: devolution must be ‘stable and sustainable’

The CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association has joined other business leaders in signing an open letter calling for a “stable and sustainable” settlement with regards to further devolved powers to Scotland.

David Frost, CEO of the SWA, has signed an open letter calling for any further devolved powers to Scotland to be aimed at economic growth
David Frost, CEO of the SWA, has signed an open letter calling for any further devolved powers to Scotland to be aimed at economic growth

David Frost added his name to an open statement urging the Scottish and UK governments to focus any new devolution settlement on driving economic growth.

On Friday last week, the majority of the Scotch whisky industry rejoiced when Scottish citizens returned a “no” vote on the country’s referendum on independence.

However, concerns have been expressed over David Cameron’s proposal of further devolving Scotland’s powers from Westminster.

In addition to Frost, the open letter was signed by Bryan Buchan, chief executive of Scottish Engineering, Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chamber of Commerce, and Owen Kelly, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, along with nine others.

The statement said there was now a need for Scotland to “move forward” and “create more jobs” and “increase investment”.

“With the Scottish Parliament set to become a more powerful force in our economy, the touchstones of the new devolution settlement must be boosting business and growth,” the statement read.

“It is also really important for business that whatever settlement is now agreed is stable and sustainable, and seen to be so.

“In the weeks and months to come, we envisage playing a full, constructive part in making this happen – and that must include a discussion around how any extra powers should be used to make Scottish business more competitive.”

The signatories also noted that areas such as exports where responsibility is shared between Westminster and Scotland there is now an opportunity to “streamline and co-ordinate services”.

When the referendum vote was announced Frost said the independence debate has shown a need for government and business to “collaborate to address long-term economic challenges”.

The SWA and other business leaders in Scotland said they would be looking to be involved in the coming discussions over further devolution.

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