Soundbyte raises serious questions

Chancellor George Osborne’s flying visit to the region last week provided a select group of local business owners the opportunity to raise specific concerns with him and highlight the needs of Borders firms.

Issues such as transport, fuel costs, VAT and product labelling were discussed, amongst others, with the Chancellor going away with much to ponder.

However, it was Mr Osborne’s soundbyte to The Southern that captured the attention – the Chancellor stating he believes the region will be among those affected most in economic terms should Scotland vote for independence.

Unfortunately Mr Osborne had to dash off to Rosyth for the official naming of an aircraft carrier before we were able to push him on the reasons he holds such a view.

It was disappointing that despite a request to his press team for a full explanation this had not appeared by the time we went to press, as such a statement raises serious questions for all Borderers as they consider their position ahead of the referendum in September.

For many, the economic impact of independence, good or bad depending on your viewpoint, will be the overarching factor in their decision come September 18, and that is as good a reason as any for Mr Osborne to clarify his comment and ensure local people are as informed as possible when they enter the voting booth.