Scotland’s economy ‘vulnerable’ because of overseas companies


Photo by Alberto Garcia

Labour’s economy spokesperson Richard Leonard has raised the issue that Scotland’s economy is a lot more delicate because of Brexit than people initially feared.

MSPs learned yesterday that overseas firms own just over a third of Scotland’s economy, which is more than any other area in the UK.

The overseas figures – estimated to be at 34.6% – derive from a 2013 evaluation that states Scotland has the largest measure of overseas companies, with West Midlands being next with 30%.

A spike in foreign companies arriving in Scotland could put the country in financial vulnerability because of Brexit.

Speaking at a debate on financial ramifications of Brexit at the Scottish Parliament, Leonard said: “That is considerably higher than any other part of the UK. So while the SNP have been fixating on political sovereignty, they have presided in office over an historic loss in economic sovereignty.

“The speed and scale of this loss of economic sovereignty is huge, and I put it down to the fact that there has been no industrial strategy.”

Leonard also stated during the debate that since SNP’s introduction to power in 2007, the percentage of extrinsically owned economy has risen by 10%.

At the end of his speech, Leonard quoted Nicola Sturgeon from before the SNP won the election in 2007 at a party conference, claiming that she would “stand up for businesses” and “defend them when they are under threat” while allowing the business market to flourish.

Labour’s economist turned his firing cannon at Economy Secretary Keith Brown, proclaiming that he had “singularly failed” to protect the Scottish economy.

Brown said that the SNP worked arduously to secure the future of the Ineos refinery in Grangemouth and Prestwick Airport, while stating that the “fundamentals of the economy remain strong”, and that oil and goods were on the rise again.

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