Busi­ness task­force will aim to boost Scot­land’s econ­omy, says Mun­dell

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

LEAD­ING fig­ures from Scot­land’s busi­ness sec­tor will form a new task­force to help boost Scot­land’s econ­omy.

The task­force will be made up of busi­ness and econ­omy ex­perts, said Scot­tish Sec­re­tary David Mun­dell.

For­mer UK Gov­ern­ment min­is­ter Andrew Dun­lop has been com­mis­sioned to chair the group, whose mem­bers are yet to be an­nounced.

Mr Mun­dell said they will help ad­vise the UK Gov­ern­ment on eco­nomic and in­dus­trial pol­icy.

He said: “The UK Gov­ern­ment’s new Scot­tish busi­ness task­force will pro­vide ex­pert ad­vice and guid­ance on how best to strengthen Scot­land’s econ­omy.

“We know that Scot­land’s eco­nomic per­for­mance lags be­hind the rest of UK, and we need to close that gap.

David Mun­dell has yet to name group’s mem­bers.

“As we de­velop our am­bi­tious in­dus­trial strat­egy and ne­go­ti­ate new trade deals with Europe and around the world, this ex­pert panel will pro­vide in­sight from a range of Scot­tish busi­ness sec­tors.”

The Scot­tish Sec­re­tary made the an­nounce­ment ahead of a trip to Paraguay

and Ar­gentina to pro­mote Scot­tish busi­ness in­ter­ests.

He added: “As we are pre­pare to leave the EU, we want to build and strengthen our trade re­la­tion­ships with friends and part­ners old and new, and I am cer­tain Scot­tish com­pa­nies will be at the fore­front of this.” THE SNP has suf­fered a fur­ther drop in mem­ber­ship, fig­ures have re­vealed.

Af­ter top­ping 120,000 in July last year, it slipped to 118,000 last month.

The fig­ures, which have not been pub­li­cised by the party, are re­vealed in a brief­ing pa­per pub­lished by the House of Com­mons li­brary.

The SNP still has com­fort­ably more mem­bers than all the other Holy­rood par­ties com­bined. How­ever its ri­vals said the slide con­firmed Scot­land had now passed “peak Nat”.

The fall co­in­cides with First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon call­ing a se­cond in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum in March, and the party los­ing one-third of its MPs in the June elec­tion, its worst re­verse in 40 years.

The SNP’s mem­ber­ship grew mas­sively af­ter the No

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