The British Chambers of Commerce has today (16 September) released the results of a survey measuring the response of businesses throughout the UK to next year’s referendum on Scottish independence. The findings underline the fact that most firms are focused on getting on with their day to day business in the run-up to the referendum but reinforce the need for more effective engagement between politicians and business. Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) have previously identified the future of taxation, EU membership and currency as the top three issues for business within the context of the constitutional debate. Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of SCC, said:
“This latest survey points to a high level of awareness among businesses throughout the UK of the fact that Scotland will be making a key constitutional decision next year. This is all the more reason why the calls from our members for more information on the independence debate need to be addressed by politicians on both sides of the argument.
“Issues such as connectivity, education and skills, energy and business support will remain the major issues for businesses whatever the outcome of the referendum and these will continue to dominate the business policy agenda in Scotland. However as the referendum gets closer, more questions are being raised about what the potential outcomes might mean for doing business in Scotland.
“Scottish Chambers of Commerce have been working with our members for some time to identify knowledge gaps and to engage with the political parties to help businesses and the wider public to make informed choices when they go to the ballot box. Businesses have identified taxation, EU membership and currency as the three priorities for politicians as they prepare their competing prospectuses for a post-referendum Scotland and these areas raise serious questions for all players in the independence debate and for Governments north and south of the border alike.
“Chambers of Commerce across Scotland are working with businesses to ensure that they have the opportunity to engage in the constitutional debate. We will be taking this engagement forward and exploring new ways of fostering an active two way dialogue, ensuring that businesses are at the core of the debate over Scotland’s future.”