Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Comment on the First Minister’s Statement
– Certainty, stability and confidence are the “watch-words” for the business community and must be for Scottish & UK Governments too
– Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce will continue our process of engagement with local businesses to understand how the prospect of a second independence referendum could affect them and how their voices can be most effectively articulated during this process
Commenting on the First Minister’s statement this morning regarding Scotland’s future relationship with the UK and Europe, Liz McAreavey, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said:
“It is welcome that the First Minister has indicated that the Scottish Government will continue to engage with the political process around the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. These are vital years ahead for the future of the UK and Scottish economy and it is crucial that Scotland has a voice at the centre of this process.
“Scotland has been through two referendums and two major elections over the past three years, and there is no doubt that this period of continual uncertainty has had a material impact upon businesses in Scotland. These are real and present business issues that are affecting business decisions and investment. A further referendum on Scotland’s independence would be no different, and the more that can be done to mitigate the duration of this uncertainty for business, the better. Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce network will continue our process of engagement with local businesses to understand how this prospect could affect them and how their voices can be most effectively articulated during this process.
“In the current circumstances, businesses need as much certainty, stability and confidence as possible and it is the role of our Governments to provide it. The message from Chamber of Commerce members has been clear and consistent – our priority must be to create the conditions that will enable businesses to thrive. That means focus and resources must be directed towards greater strategic infrastructure investment, developing the skills we need to sustain growth, fair business taxation that does not limit entrepreneurship and investment and clear guidance on entering and trading in overseas markets – all of which must have a clear evidential basis. These are the priorities for business and must be for our Governments too.”