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Shell boss wants Scotland to stay in UK

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Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, has said he wants Scotland to “remain part of the UK”.

He is concerned about the prospect of an uncertain business landscape in a country his company is heavily invested in.

“Shell has a long history of involvement in the North Sea and therefore in Scotland,” van Beurden told Shell’s annual reception in London, it has been reported.

“We have continued to invest heavily there. Given a choice, we want to know as accurately as possible what investment conditions will look like 10 or 20 years from now.”

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The Shell CEO joins several other major companies keen for Scotland to stay in the UK, perhaps most notably Standard Life, which announced in February that it could move significant portions of its 5,000-strong base out the country if Scotland becomes independent.

BP opposes independence. RBS, Lloyds and Barclays have warned that independence could damage their prospects.

But British Airways boss Willie Walsh has said that Scottish independence could be a “positive development”. The Scottish government has pledged to reduce and possibly abolish air passenger duty.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has suggested an independent Scotland could be rated AAA.

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>> Standard Life: If Scotland goes independent, we might leave

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