PINSTRIPE

I don’t know about you but I am feeling distinctly over-consulted at the moment. Three referendums in the last few years, General Election 2015, Local Elections, General Election 2017.

In the UK the General Election has brought the Conservatives the opposite of what they hoped for , far from a strengthened mandate they have failed to achieve a majority. In Scotland, in absolute terms, the General Election was a win for the SNP but, relative to where they were they have slipped back catastrophically , their mandate for another referendum destroyed . At an individual level the stand-out winners - though technically both lost - are Ruth Davidson and Jeremy Corbyn. The voters seem to warm to people who answer questions and say what they believe.

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What business now needs is for politicians in the UK and Scotland to get on with what we have employed them to do. At the UK level this means continuing to repair the country’s finances - no silly tax cuts and a continued firm control of spending. The thing which inevitably the next UK Government will be judged by is whether it can negotiate a sensible Brexit deal. The election result makes this much harder, and the “Bring back the British Empire” wing of the Conservative party does not help. A weak Government poses real danger to our country. In the interests of all of the UK, the parties must work together to deliver an intelligent Brexit outcome. The SNP has a responsibility to the people of Scotland to help deliver a successful Brexit, not to try to scupper achievement of that objective with mindless opposition.

Back at home I beg the SNP to buckle down and get on with the day job. Health, education, the police, transport. The NHS faces enormous challenges, Scotland's schooling has gone from enviable to ordinary in world terms, public confidence in the police is at a worrying low point, our roads crumble. These are all things the Scottish Government has the power to improve but consistently lacks the courage to tackle with the new solutions which are needed.

The economic case for Scottish independence lies in ruins. No doubt to Nicola Sturgeon's distress, the voters of Scotland did not rise up in rage to support the Scottish Government’s call for another referendum on independence. Why? Because the voters are not daft. The SNP Government should heed their message. The SNP's earlier electoral success was in large measure due to their being the party of insurgency at a time when people wanted change, now they are the Establishment. The Scottish Government needs to earn our respect by demonstrating that they can run well the things which they have control over, they should also prepare for the extra powers which will come their way when the UK leaves the EU. They need the savvy to realise that Scotland remaining in the European single market if England does not is a daft idea which would harm not benefit Scotland. Above all please stop destabilising Scotland's economy by trying to force us to endure another independence referendum.

Businesses in Scotland, the engine room of the prosperity which we all want, need less politics and more stability. Politicians across the UK, including Scotland, should stop asking us questions and get on with their jobs.

Pinstripe is a senior member of Scotland's financial services community.