Your Wee bit Hill and Glen: Scottish Independence

Today Scotland takes the world stage as it makes one of the most important political decisions of a generation – to remain as part of the United Kingdom or to become independent. But what will the result mean for the Scottish Financial Industry?

Miniature British union and Scottish Salire flags in grass on a Hebridean island.Today Scotland takes the world stage as it makes one of the most important political decisions of a generation – to remain as part of the United Kingdom or to become independent. The result of this decision will have an impact that reaches far beyond Scotland’s borders.

The referendum campaign has seen political engagement across the UK on an unprecedented scale, and regardless of your stance, this can only be a good thing that should be encouraged and replicated in future elections.

There have been many questions raised around what would independence mean for UK businesses. Many big firms have stated that they will move areas of their operation, or in some cases their whole business, away from Scotland if there is a “yes” result. Would Edinburgh, the hub of the Scottish Financial Industry, lose business to London? If so what impact would this have on Scottish trade and Scottish jobs? Or would we find that in the event of a “yes” result that the impact to business is minimal and would lead to exciting new opportunities? At Grovelands’ the referendum has influenced our actions as we have taken the decision to await the result of the referendum before we carry on with our plans to open a Scottish office.

One of the over-arching hot topics of the referendum has been that of currency. Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, is confident that Scotland would continue to use the pound in the event of independence. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has indicated that an independent Scotland would need to ensure that Scotland had billions of pounds worth of currency reserves if a currency union was not agreed. On the basis of the Scottish economy standing at an approximate £146bn it has been estimated that total reserves would have to stand at around £36bn if Scotland did choose to use the pound without a currency deal, which may have to come from increased taxation and reduced spending according to Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee.

Scotland has led one of the most emotive and discussed political campaigns that the UK has experienced and has brought politics into everyday conversation across the whole of the UK. However, it should be noted that this has been a campaign that has split a nation down the middle into two camps; team No and team Yes. The true strength of this campaign will be demonstrated in the way that Scotland comes together and moves forward politically and socially regardless of the result tomorrow morning that is expected to be announced officially at 8am.

How do you think Scottish independence will impact businesses? Let us know your thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn.

– Kim McInally

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