North-east politicians have warned that a second independence referendum could cause “uncertainty and instability” for Aberdeen during its “time of need.”
The Scottish Government published its draft bill on a further vote on independence yesterday.
But Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing responded by attacking the move, claiming businesses were opposed to the plans.
She said: “This Independence Referendum Bill is a blueprint for economic disaster.
“It creates huge uncertainty and instability at a time when Aberdeen needs to demonstrate to businesses all over the world that we are rigid in our desire to put in place a set of economic conditions where investment can flourish.
“Business leaders have already made it clear that Aberdeen’s best chance of success is being part of a united British economy and that the process of breaking up the UK would send potential investors running for the hills.
“We have worked hard to present Aberdeen to the world as a great place to do business and this has the potential to be undone by Nicola Sturgeon’s Referendum Bill.”
North-east MSP Ross Thomson went further and described the proposal as “devastating for Aberdeen.”
He added: “We were told the Government’s priorities would be education and childcare, yet today we see that, yet again, separation is the SNP’s only priority.”
“During Aberdeen’s time of need, when we are fighting to retain business investment in the region, the First Minister wants to prioritise breaking up Britain despite our businesses warning her against it and our communities telling her that they do not want it.”
Marie Boulton, depute leader of Aberdeen City Council, added: “This is also another devastating blow to the oil and gas sector which is already struggling.”
However, Kevin Stewart, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central, retorted that 84,000 Scottish jobs were at risk from a “hard Brexit.”
He said: “The UK that the Scottish people voted to remain part of in 2014, is no longer the UK on offer.
“Our focus right now is on ensuring that Scotland’s interests are protected from the Tory Government’s pursuit of a hard Brexit, which could cost Scotland 84,000 jobs.
“If there is an independence referendum, it will not be because the result of the 2014 referendum has not been respected – it will be because the promises made to Scotland have not been kept.”