Responding to the decision by the UK public for Britain to leave the European Union, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, has called for Government and business to come together and provide leadership for our new relationship with the world.
Liz Cameron said:
“Many of us awoke with mixed reactions to the news that the majority of the UK had voted to leave the EU. The detailed implications of an exit are unknown as we embark on a different journey and seek to negotiate a new relationship with our European partners and the wider world. We would urge a level of calmness – our products and services will continue to be traded throughout Europe and beyond. The priority for Scotland now is for our Governments and businesses to carry on and show great leadership in order to stabilise the markets and begin to plan our new relationship with Europe.
“We have been greatly reassured by the announcement from the Bank of England confirming their actions and readiness to intervene if and when necessary to ensure a stable economic environment. This should assist with providing a level of confidence to the markets over the coming weeks.
“The Prime Minister has announced his resignation and has set out a broad timetable for a transfer of political leadership in the UK. This gives us time to understand what the detail of the process of disengagement from the EU might mean. Businesses need to be able to plan as far ahead as possible and the EU is a key international market, worth over £11 billion to Scottish businesses in terms of exports of goods and services. An early priority must be for the UK Government to confirm what our future trading arrangements with the EU and other international markets will look like in order to ensure continuity of imports and exports.
“Businesses will also be looking to understand the potential advantages that the UK’s exit from the EU might bring. In particular, we are keen to understand how Governments in Edinburgh and London might be able to more explicitly support Scottish businesses to win local contracts from the public sector.
“Understandably, this break from a union which the UK has been a part of for over 40 years will provoke a degree of initial uncertainty and we have seen that manifest itself in the markets. It is the job of our Governments and the Bank of England to steady that ship, allowing the UK to plan our new relationship with the nations of the world, and ensuring that the UK remains a great place to do business.”