Scottish Independence: Should English, Welsh and Northern Irish businesses be bothered?

Business owners and experts give their view on whether a win for the Yes campaign actually matters to businesses outside Scotland. Read on to find out if they're bothered

We experienced mixed views on this topic. Many said they were not particularly concerned, aside from the market turbulence that would result in the event of independence.

Others said the break-up of the UK could weaken its position internationally – but some predicted the birth of opportunities too.

Banking expert Robert Lyddon predicts that UK businesses looking for public sector contracts could in fact receive a huge boost from a Yes vote.

As he explains: “The stock market will rock and roll following independence, and there will be financial turbulence generally. But firms in those areas which rely on a lot of government business could see opportunities open up as the government relocates its Scottish operations south.

“Areas like financial services and UK pensions have to remain in the country – it’s simply not possible to outsource them to a foreign country. So [UK] businesses in these sectors could see a particular boost.”

PetShopBowl co-founder Adam Taylor took a less rosy view: “I think all of UK business owners should be concerned. Running a business, I now have a much deeper appreciation for how the nation’s economy is affected by such critical decisions.

“As PetShopBowl has experienced first-hand by expanding into Europe, we have witnessed the benefits of breaking down borders between the UK and Europe.

“To remain competitive with larger potentially more robust countries that have greater populations, natural resources and diverse businesses they can utilise I personally believe it’s important for the UK & Europe to work closer together.”

Chris Winstanley of MBA & Company said: “However things play out in the medium term, there is bound initially to be significant disruption to business-as-usual, a reluctance to enter large commercial agreements in the face of uncertainty and concern over how changes to Scotland’s affairs could affect existing relationships.”


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