Scotland could become the Frankfurt of the north, a new report out today claims, adding that the country could become one of the five wealthiest in the world if it seeks to position itself as a centre for financial services to rival London.
The Scotland means Business report, commissioned by business group N56, sets out a plan for growth for the next 25 years centred around a scheme to position Scotland as a financial powerhouse for asset management companies.
The group has called on the Scottish government to adopt the proposals whether it becomes independent or not, which also include Scotland joining the Nordic Council. If ministers back the plans it could boost gross domestic product by 86 per cent by 2037, the authors claim.
The report comes as a leading economist also published new research suggesting that the set-up costs for an independent Scotland could be as little as £200m.
Professor Patrick Dunleavy at the London School of Economics said the process of duplicating the functions currently carried out by Westminster could be around £200m but that the nation would have to spend far more to build IT systems to cope with its new found independence.
A spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond said yesterday: “The No campaign’s arguments have been totally and utterly demolished, and we now need a retraction both from the Treasury and the No side.”
He added: “The UK government is responsible for creating uncertainty for refusing to negotiate. But once the votes are in, under the Edinburgh Agreement, that will change.”