Warning Brexit Would Risk Thousands Of Jobs

13 May 2016, 08:34 | Updated: 13 May 2016, 08:35

Thousands of jobs in Scotland's financial sector will be put at risk if the UK leaves the European Union, Economic Secretary Harriett Baldwin has warned.

Scotland has the UK's biggest international financial hubs outside London, in Edinburgh and Glasgow, which contribute more than 7% of Scotland's GDP and employ around 85,000 people, with a further 70,000 working in associated professional services.

Treasury analysis shows 285,000 jobs across the UK are linked to financial services exports to the EU.

There are 100,000 financial services jobs directly linked to these exports, and a further 185,000 jobs are linked to the indirect demand generated in the wider economy as a result of financial services exports to the EU.

Leaving the EU would put tens of thousands of these jobs at risk, Ms Baldwin said ahead of a visit to Edinburgh.

She said: "Membership of the EU and the enormous benefits this provides means that the financial services sector in Scotland is thriving.

"It directly employs around 85,000 people, with a further 70,000 working in associated professional services, and contributes more than 7% of Scotland's GDP- showing the crucial role the financial services sector plays in the Scottish economic landscape.

"As part of the EU, as part of the single market and as part of a modern economy, business in Scotland has been booming.

"Since 2010, 55,400 new businesses have started up in Scotland and have been able to access the finance they need to grow.

"It is clear that for Scotland's future prosperity there is no credible or, in fact, more desirable alternative to EU membership.

"Let's not put all of this at risk on June 23.''

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and Labour In for Britain chair Alan Johnson will also be in Edinburgh on Friday, for the launch of Labour In for Scotland.

Ms Dugdale will warn voters not to get complacent as polls continue to show a high level of support for remaining in the EU among Scots.

She is expected to say: "The last few weeks have taught us again not to read polls as prediction, as if we needed another lesson after the general election.

"There's no such thing as a guaranteed win in politics. There can be no complacency when the future of our nation is at stake.

"We may be weary as a nation after three national campaigns in as many years, but we need to do it all over again in the next few weeks.''

The Scottish Labour leader will say the emotional arguments for staying in the EU must be made alongside the "overwhelming'' economic case.

She will say: "My generation, and that of my parents before me, have become so used to that that we don't stop to wonder at the achievement the EU represents.

"From Scandinavia to the Aegean. From the Balearic Islands to the Arctic Circle. From the Carpathians to the Highlands. We co-operate, sharing freedom, together. It's a continent whose history is written in conflict and chaos but is now defined by peace and prosperity.

"We have been part of that. We built that. It's not perfect but it is as extraordinary an achievement as any in our history.

"We are a more European country for having built that union. We are richer for it. Not just the bump in our GDP, as important as that is, but richer for the shared experiences, the mixing of cultures, the people we've come to know, the amazing experiences and opportunities that the EU has brought to us.

"I fear we may not realise that until it's gone.''