Aberdeen Asset Management economist: Scotland’s 2014 vote “no longer available to us”
THERE has been a “shift” in Scotland’s business community on independence following the vote in England and Wales to leave the European Union, according to Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown.
Brown told a gathering of Scotland’s corporate community that he was aware of businesses re-evaluating the case for independence on the basis of the potential for Scotland to benefit from the stability of membership in the European single market.
Brown’s views were echoed by Lucy O’Carroll, Chief Economist at Aberdeen Asset Management, who said what Scotland voted for in 2014 is “no longer available to us” with the constitutional choice now between “two uncertainties”.
“A number of business – I won’t say what number – which were vehemently on the No side in the referendum in 2014 I know are doing some scenario planning on how attractive it might be to be part of an independent Scotland which is within the EU.” Keith Brown MSP
Brown, speaking at the event hosted by lobbyists Charlotte Street Partners and Edinburgh airport, said: “A number of business – I won’t say what number – which were vehemently on the No side in the referendum in 2014 I know are doing some scenario planning on how attractive it might be to be part of an independent Scotland which is within the EU, if the rest of the UK was to leave.
“To that extent, among those who were most vehemently on the No side there is something of a shift.”
He added that there was no rush towards a second referendum, while he added “it is the best option, and is becoming more clearly the best option for Scotland.”
O’Carroll, reflecting the change in the debate, added: “My observation would be that the 2014 vote was on the basis of a move from a status quo position of remaining in the UK and therefore in the EU. A status quo position is no longer available to us.
“We are choosing between two uncertain futures, but ones that are quite different from each other.”
During the meeting business figures warned of the impact of hard Brexit on the Scottish economy.
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Picture courtesy of Cams