Darling’s Glenrothes visit hours after debate

Alistair Darling talks to Archie Smith under the glare of the world's media
Alistair Darling talks to Archie Smith under the glare of the world's media

Just thirteen hours after he went head-to-head with First Minister Alex Salmond on a televised referendum debate, MP Alistair Darling was in Glenrothes.

The Labour MP and leader of the Better Together campaign was back on the road listening to the concerns of a major employer in the town who fears leaving the union could force the business to close

The former Chancellor visited Glenrothes-based Fife Fabrications, one of the UK’s most advanced manufacturers of precision sheet-metalwork, who have been operating in the new town for 42 years, and who employ 130 people.

Archie Smith, managing director told Mr Darling the uncertainty over an independent Scotland’s currency and tax powers could damage future growth for his firm.

“At least 70 per cent of my business is down south and at least half of them have told me they have considered moving their custom to English companies,” said Mr Smith.

“Even my export customers have been asking if they’ll still be able to pay in sterling and I have to tell them I don’t know as Alex Salmond won’t answer the questions.”

After the visit Mr Darling told the Gazette : “The problem businesses across Fife will have is the complexity and uncertainty of what currency an independent Scotland will have and how that will adversely impact the future prosperity of those businesses who deal mainly with customers south of the border and elsewhere.”

Asked what devolved powers would be introduced to benefit firms should there be a ‘no’ vote on September 18 he said: “Devolving responsibility of controlling work programmes to the Scottish Parliament will allow closer interaction on training, college places and apprenticeships ensuring a skills base for the future.”