Business leader says North-East ‘uniquely exposed’ to benefit from Scotland’s no vote

A Union Flag and Saltire Flag are pictured in Edinburgh.
A Union Flag and Saltire Flag are pictured in Edinburgh.

A NORTH-EAST business leader believes Scotland’s rejection of independence could create more economic opportunities for our region.

While Glasgow voted in favour of leaving the UK, the margin of victory was not large enough to give Alex Salmond and his campaign the momentum they need.

Scotland is now expected to receive more powers as it looks to shape its future within the Union and James Rowbotham, the chief executive of the North-East Chamber of Commerce, hopes tghe North-East will benefit from the changes.

Mr Rowbotham said: “The historic decision of the Scottish people will be celebrated by some in business and lamented by others.

“Nevertheless, both Scotland and the United Kingdom now have an opportunity to define their future directions and to allow this change to stimulate economic growth as never before, and redefine their respective places in the world for the better.

“However, the North East is uniquely exposed to the changes that will accompany independence. A period of uncertainty is likely and it is inevitable that this will impact on business confidence. Businesses therefore need clarity on how the transition period will be managed to ensure fairness to both sides and how any potential impact on growth will be minimised.

“It remains to be seen what the impact of a brand new country on our doorstep will have on the North East in terms of our ability to attract investment, retain skilled workers and compete globally. Westminster and Holyrood must deliver clear answers to some big questions, such as answers on currency, the sharing of debt obligations, the banking system, European Union membership, cross-border trade, pensions, taxation to name just a few.

“It is vital that the negotiation and settlement on Scottish independence occur as efficiently, equitably and quickly as possible.

“We wish the Scottish people wellat what is a historic moment and we can only hope that looking ahead we can make the most, as two countries, of the opportunities that exist while confronting common challenges as partners. It is up to our Governments and all political parties to minimise uncertainty around forthcoming independence – for the sake of growth, jobs and prosperity on all parts of this island.”