Scottish households are expected to see a double-digit decline in living standards if the Scottish independence could harm businesses country votes to become independent, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

The well-respected think-tank calculated the move to independence would trigger a ‘mass exodus’ of the financial services industry, which would lead to a third of jobs in this sector being moved down into England and the rest of the UK.

Between 20,000 and 40,000 jobs will move to England if Scotland breaks away as many of them depend on customers in the rest of the UK, according to CEBR.

In a speech tonight, Douglas McWilliams, the founder of CEBR, is expected to say:

“Some industries in Scotland would be boosted by independence. One suspects that tourism industry for example will ultimately benefit. But finance is highly likely to suffer.”

Several businesses are likely to be forced to move south of the border due to Westminster’s potential refusal to form a fiscal, monetary or banking union with an independent Scotland.

Banks have already expressed concern about the prospect of Scottish independence. According to Treasury figures, the financial and insurance sector adds around ¬£9bn a year to Scotland’s economy and the CEBR¬†warn that Scotland’s huge financial sector relative to the size of its economy means secession will be costly.

Photo by Timo Newton-Syms