Scotland’s No vote ‘a relief to businesses’
Photo Credit: Scottish Government via Compfight cc

Putting personal feelings to one side, many businesses will be relieved by the No outcome in the Scottish referendum, it has been suggested.

Reacting to the result, John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The people of Scotland have spoken.

“Their historic decision to remain part of the United Kingdom will be a relief to many businesspeople and a disappointment to others, but it was a decision for the Scottish people alone to make.”

But he warned against the prospect of a ‘neverendum’, with further subsequent votes on the same issue, as this would harm investment prospects and businesses as a whole throughout the UK.

However, the process is far from over, and with Scotland taking more control over its own economy despite remaining as part of the United Kingdom, the picture for businesses could yet become much more complex.

For instance, Mr Longworth stressed that it is no longer appropriate for businesses and taxpayers in any one of the UK’s constituent countries – including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – to subsidise the residents of any other.

Instead, there should be more freedom and autonomy, including on issues such as taxation and public spending.

For businesses trading across borders, this could still create difficulties, particularly if constituent countries’ taxation regimes begin to diverge, even on something as simple as the rate of VAT.

“Businesspeople in many areas want more freedom from Westminster and more influences over how their taxes are spent,” Mr Longworth continued. “Local businesses deserve a say in how a new, less centralised UK is governed in future.

“We have been through a period of disruption. Creative disruption can be galvanising to countries, just as it is to businesses. It is up to the leaders of our nations now to make sure this is the result.”

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