Polls on the vote on Scottish Independence show that the two sides have been neck and neck in the past few weeks. While a clear winner cannot be predicted at present, UK businesses need to be prepared for the possibility of a ‘Yes’ vote, which could affect their operations more than a ‘No’ vote would. Whilst the economic and business landscape of a Scottish secession from the UK is uncertain, Carl Hasty, Director of international payments specialist Smart Currency Business, lists some key areas that UK businesses should be prepared for.
UK businesses currently registered in Scotland will have to decide whether to stay or to transfer their registration to elsewhere in the UK.
UK businesses banking with financial institutions currently headquartered in Scotland would have to keep a close eye on whether those banks migrate south of the border. This may require having to change banking providers if the risk is considered to be high.
The three major Westminster parties have negated the possibility of a currency union with an independent Scotland. Therefore, its main currency options would be to create its own currency, adopt a major currency, or adopt the euro. Businesses in the rest of the UK would have to account for the uncertainty of currency markets, more so should Scotland form its own currency. Businesses would require strategies to mitigate all relevant risks.
4. Higher Costs
The debate surrounding oil and energy would intensify should Scotland vote ‘yes’ for independence. Businesses in the rest of the UK should allow for the possibility of higher costs due to oil and energy price increases. Transportation costs are likely to rise for businesses trading with Scotland.
5. A Full Assessment
The points listed here are key to a business’s operations, but Scottish Independence would render a different business landscape that is vastly different from the one businesses currently operate in. This would affect businesses trading with an independent Scotland as well as businesses that do not, due to knock-on political, economic, social and environmental effects. All UK businesses will need to conduct a full assessment on the impact of Scottish independence, should it prevail.
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