John Swinney to debate the business of independence with Murdo Fraser


With less than a year until the independence referendum, Fife business leaders are being invited to hear the arguments for and against on business and the economy made by John Swinney MSP and Murdo Fraser MSP in a debate hosted by The Cupar Business Network on November 1

With both campaigns indicating some level of constitutional change after the referendum – either independence or further powers for the Scottish Parliament – it’s vital that the business community has the opportunity to examine the debate in business and economic terms before deciding how to vote.

So The Cupar Business Network, in association with Carters Accountants, is inviting business leaders to an invitation-only referendum debate at Elmwood College in Cupar to hear the competing cases and ask questions of both campaigns.

Senior, high-profile MSPs will be arguing the case for each side, with John Swinney MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, representing the Yes Scotland campaign and Murdo Fraser MSP, Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee representing the Better Together campaign. Each will make an opening statement, have it rebutted and take questions before making a closing argument.

The debate will be moderated by a senior journalist chosen by The Cupar Business Network and attendees will be invited to submit questions in advance, which will be given to both sides a week in advance. A straw poll of the audience will be conducted at the start.

The Cupar Business Network and Carters are neutral in this debate and are facilitating it so Fife business owners and business people can learn enough about the issues to allow them to make up their minds on this important question.

Speaking about the event, Cupar Business Network Chairman, Peter Southcott, said: “This is a great opportunity for business owners to learn more and become more informed. The outcome of the referendum will have a major impact on the future landscape for Scottish business.”

Anyone wanting to attend the invitation-only event, which starts at 6pm, can apply by sending an email to: or contacting Cupar Business Network through the Eventbrite event page at

Requests for an invitation must include the applicant’s full name, business name, address, telephone number, email address and the business relationship with Cupar Business Network or Fife Chamber of Commerce.

6pm to 6.30pm – Open networking and buffet
6.30pm – Welcome by Peter Southcott, Chairman of Cupar Business Club and handover to Moderator. The moderator will ask for a straw poll to get an indication of those for Yes, No, or Undecided.
6.35pm – 6.45pm – Opening statements – each side will be given five minutes each. A coin will be tossed to see which side goes first.
6.45pm – 6.55pm – Rebuttals – each side will be given five minutes each to rebut remarks made by the other side
6.55pm – 7.40pm – Question and answer session.
7.40pm – 7.55pm – Closing statements from Mr Fraser and Mr Swinney – each side will be given 7 ½ minutes for closing remarks.
7.55pm – 8.00pm – Closing comments from Cupar Business Network and vote of thanks.

N.B. During the opening statements, rebuttals and closing statements the audience will be asked not to clap and to save any applause to the end. During the question and answer session the audience will be allowed to clap at any specific answer or point made.

The Cupar Business Network is an invitation-only business networking group which meets monthly in Cupar for the benefit of its members and the wider business community in Cupar and Fife.

For further information about The Cupar Business Network, please contact: Peter Southcott, Partner at Carters. Email:

Issued on behalf of The Cupar Business Network by Alan S. Morrison at ASM Media & PR –  Email: