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Leading Scottish business figure criticises "negative" SNP government

The SNP government is failing the people of Scotland by being "adversarial and negative”, according to one of the country's leading business figures.

 

Sir Ian Wood has accused the Nationalist administration of being "generally adversarial and negative about a whole range of things that might happen with the UK and Scotland working together."

 

Speaking on BBC’s Question Time in front of an Edinburgh audience on Thursday night, he said: “The structure and the system right now just isn't working.

 

"If we could get that sorted out and honestly get both governments working together in a whole range of quite exciting things that could be done, we'd be able to look ahead. We're not."

 

Sir Ian, a philanthropist and prominent figure in the North Sea oil industry, said Scotland is being “held back” by the divisive approach.

 

He added: “With great respect, the SNP government have got one objective in mind and that's independence. Their actual job is to look after the Scottish people and get the best deal for the Scottish people. That's not their top priority now.”

 

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, also speaking on Question Time, said Scotland’s "best and proudest days are when we stand together as part of a Union that we helped to build.” 

 

Responding to Sir Ian’s comments this morning, he said: "Sir Ian Wood is one of the country's most respected business figures and his assessment of this relentlessly negative SNP government is damning.

 

“The SNP would rather pick fights and obsess about independence than work together for the benefit of the people of Scotland.

 

“It is vital that the UK and Scottish governments work together during this pandemic and going forward to rebuild our economy.”

 

Ends

 

 

Notes for editors

 

Full transcript of Sir Ian's comments:

 

We had a referendum five years ago. It's an incredibly important question and we absolutely should not be addressing it again.

 

What's gone completely wrong in the past two or three years is that we've got a Scottish government who are generally adversarial and negative about a whole range of things that might happen with the UK and Scotland working together.

 

And that's what we should have. We don't have a devolved government which is just looking at looking after Scotland at all. We've a devolved government who are focused on independence.

 

What we need is a devolved government that will work with the UK government. I've got a list of six different things here which could happen.

 

But right now are being held back because frankly the Scottish government's position is they don't really want any big help from UK government because somehow it will cut across their devolution rights.

 

The structure and the system right now just isn't working. If we could get that sorted out and honestly get both governments working together in a whole range of quite exciting things that could be done, we'd be able to look ahead. We're not.

 

With great respect, the SNP government have got one objective in mind and that's independence. Their actual job is to look after the Scottish people and get the best deal for the Scottish people. That's not their top priority now.

 

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