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Being part of Britain beneficial for Scotland: Official

Posted on Apr 14 2014 | IANS

London, April 14 : Being part of Britain is good for hard working Scots and their families, a British official said Monday.

"Scotland is doing well as part of Britain. Large employers in Scotland from the oil and gas industry to the retail sector are saying that being part of the large and diverse British single market is good for business," Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael said.

"The creation of more new jobs shows that being part of Britain is good for hard working Scots and their families," Carmichael said.

His remarks came after Bank of Scotland's latest PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) report for March showed that the region's employment has been on the rise for 16 straight months, with manufacturing orders increasing and cost inflation falling to a 54-month low, Xinhua reported.

"Today's PMI index provides very encouraging signs for both businesses and individuals in Scotland, as the economic recovery is getting more and more embedded," the secretary noted.

Citing the British treasury's analysis published last week, he warned that an independent Scotland would have the second highest fiscal deficit of all advanced economies in its first year of independence.

"On the back of more encouraging signs for Scottish businesses, why should we gamble it all on independence when the Scottish government has no plans on currency, on pensions and on EU membership?" he asked, dismissing the Scottish government's bid to walk away from Britain.

With fewer than 200 days to go before the referendum on Sept 18 this year, London and Edinburgh have been wrangling to win supporters for their respective agendas over Scotland's future.

The Scottish government has been campaigning for Scotland's independence which it says can create a more democratic, more prosperous and fairer society for Scotland.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond signed the Edinburgh Agreement in October 2012 to allow Scotland to hold the independence referendum this year.

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