NEW digital billboards have appeared in Glasgow and Edinburgh as part of a new campaign arguing that Scottish businesses, jobs and pensions are better off in the UK.

Business group Scottish Business UK (SBUK) has launched the advertising campaign as part of plans to drive engagement with business leaders in Glasgow and Edinburgh.  

The group describes itself as an independent, non-party voice for business leaders who "want to see Scotland thrive economically as part of the United Kingdom."

The digital billboards, which will be visible at eight locations in the cities throughout April and early May to coincide with the Scottish Parliament election campaign period, contain simple messages arguing that Scottish businesses, jobs and pensions are better off in the UK. 

HeraldScotland: SBUK digital billboard in EdinburghSBUK digital billboard in Edinburgh

SBUK says the campaign is designed to ramp up support for SBUK in anticipation of Scottish Government plans to "go against the wishes of business leaders by seeking a referendum to break up the UK during the pandemic recovery period". 

SBUK Chief Executive Struan Stevenson said: “SBUK’s new digital billboard campaign highlights the simple truth that businesses, jobs and pensions are safer if Scotland stays in the UK and consequently less secure if we leave it.  

“We know that the vast majority of business leaders in Scotland agree with this and want the Scottish Government’s first and only focus to be on pandemic recovery.

"Yet still the First Minister is planning a new referendum – and all the disruption and distraction that entails – within two years of next month’s election.  

“Our message to business leaders throughout Scotland is that if you agree that our best chance to secure recovery comes if we stay in the UK, then support our campaign in any way you can.” 

READ MORE: Sturgeon accused of putting Indyref2 before Scotland's coronavirus recovery


Earlier this month Nicola Sturgeon came under fire after she conceded a second Scottish independence vote could be held while the country is still trying to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the First Minister ruled out having a fresh ballot on the issue during the “acute phase of the pandemic”.

Nevertheless, Ms Sturgeon said that could happen “when we are clearly in the recovery phase”.

Her comments attracted criticism from the leaders of the pro-UK parties, with Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross saying: “This is the clearest sign yet that the SNP will put another referendum before Scotland’s recovery.”

He said: “Nicola Sturgeon talks of Alex Salmond being a betting man but she’s willing to gamble Scotland’s recovery on a reckless plan to break up the country.”

Mr Ross added: “The SNP’s obsession with independence is clouding her judgment.

“The last thing Scotland needs is more uncertainty and a new constitutional crisis on top of the health and economic crisis we’re facing.

“The Covid crisis will not end the day lockdown ends or when we finally defeat the virus.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar argued that “holding a referendum during the recovery would be irresponsible”.

He stated: “Alongside the tragic death toll, we have taken an economic hit harder and deeper than the banking crisis.”

And he claimed that the SNP leader “has a blind spot when it comes to the constitution”.

Meanwhile Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chairman Alistair Carmichael said that the SNP leader had “once again made it very clear that her only priority this election is another independence referendum”.

He added: “This is not what Scotland needs. Scotland needs a needle-sharp focus on green and secure jobs, a plan to help education bounce back and supporting the NHS and mental health.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says Indyref2 should only happen when Covid crisis is over


In response, Ms Sturgeon insisted that her “first priority” if she is re-elected first minister after May’s Holyrood election would be to “continue to lead the country through the Covid crisis”.

She said: “That will be my focus every day, we are not out of Covid yet, though hopefully the future looks a bit brighter than it has any time for the past year.”

However she stated: “When we come out of that crisis yes I do think the country should have a choice of  independence, so that decisions about our future lie here, not in the hands of Westminster governments led by politicians like Boris Johnson.”

Asked when a second independence referendum could be held, she said: “We have to come out of this crisis. I can’t, no more than anybody else across the globe can right now, give you a fixed date for when Covid will be over.

“Getting us though Covid has to be my priority.

“If we are out of the Covid crisis I would want to see an independence referendum be in the first half of this Parliament, because as we recover from Covid it’s really important we have the powers and the decision making here in Scotland to ensure we have the kind of recovery a majority want.

“That will be when we are not in the acute phase of the pandemic, when people like me are not having to stand up every day and report deaths and hospitalisations, when we are clearly in the recovery phase.”

Any company or individual wishing to find out more about SBUK's campaign can visit

SBUK’s digital advertisements will feature three campaign messages on rotation at the following locations until 6th May 2021: 

  • Ferry Road, Edinburgh 
  • Salamander Street, Edinburgh 
  • Great Western Road, Glasgow 
  • Maryhill Road, Glasgow  
  • Glasgow Northern Gateway 
  • Aikenhead Road, Cathcart Road 
  • Glasgow Road (A730) at Princes Street, Rutherglen 
  • Springburn Road at Auchentoshan, Glasgow 
  • West Street, Glasgow