The campaign battle over Scottish independence took a bitter turn on Saturday when a senior nationalist warned businesses such as BP that they could face punishment for voicing concern over the impact of secession.
With the fate of the United Kingdom on a knife edge, the economic future of Scotland has become one the most fiercely debated issues less than six days before Scots decide on whether to break away.
Nationalists accuse British Prime Minister David Cameron of coordinating a scare campaign by business leaders aimed at spooking voters while unionists say separation is fraught with financial and economic uncertainty.
But former Scottish Nationalist Party deputy leader Jim Sillars went much further than separatist leader Alex Salmond, warning that BP’s operations in Scotland might face nationalisation if Scots voted for secession on Sept. 18.
“This referendum is about power, and when we get a ‘Yes’ majority we will use that power for a day of reckoning with BP and the banks,” Sillars, a nationalist rival of Salmond’s, was quoted by Scottish media as saying.
“BP, in an independent Scotland, will need to learn the meaning of nationalisation, in part or in whole, as it has in other countries who have not been as soft as we have been forced to be,” Sillars said.