Economic impact of Scottish independence questioned

Business groups and the UK Parliament have been voicing the main issues facing Scotland in the run up to next year's vote on Scottish independence.

Scottish voters will decide on Thursday 18 September 2014 whether to remain part of the UK - a earlier date than originally planned. Anyone over the age of 16 and who lives in Scotland will be entitled to vote.

Business groups including the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and Business for Scotland have raised key issues, such as:

  • The economic cost of reaching independence
  • Whether Scotland will keep the pound sterling, adopt the Euro, or create its own separate Scottish pound
  • Scotland's position within the European Union.

Elsewhere, a House of Lords Select Committee report into the economic implications for the UK of Scottish Independence concluded that a fully-informed debate would need to be held before the referendum. It highlighted that:

  • The UK single market currently brings economic benefits to both Scotland and the UK
  • An independent Scotland would need to service its own sovereign debt, spending, borrowing and taxation
  • Independence would raise complex defence-related issues
  • An independent Scottish economy would benefit substantially from tax revenues from the North Sea and gas reserves.

Commenting on the announcement for the referendum, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: "The announcement of the date for the referendum delivers greater clarity in terms of the timetable for the decision making process. For business, even more clarity will be required over the next 18 months about the business environment and fostering economic growth in Scotland."