Businesses 'Want Scotland In UK'

The majority of businesses outside Scotland want the country to remain in the UK, according to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The majority of businesses outside Scotland want the country to remain in the UK, according to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

In a poll of almost 2,400 members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 85% said they thought Scotland should stay part of the UK and 11% said Scotland should become an independent country.

Respondents identified future currency arrangements as the most important issue for their business, with over a third (35%) of businesses stating a formal currency union would be in the best interests of the UK if Scotland became independent.

More than a quarter (28%) said Scotland should create its own currency if it votes for independence and 18% said it should join the euro.

The survey follows research by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) published last week which found 8% of firms had definite plans to move away from Scotland if it voted to leave the UK, while a further 10% said they were considering a move.

In the BCC survey, 91% of businesses outside Scotland said the independence debate has had no impact on business decisions to date.

The research saw 11% of firms report that the debate was having a negative impact on orders and sales, compared with 5% in August last year.

BCC director general John Longworth said: "Business opinion across the United Kingdom on the Scottish independence debate is far from unanimous. That's only logical as businesses have different interests, and different views, on our complex history of economic and political union.

"Businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland remain less than captivated by the intense debate unfolding north of the border. Yet they do have views on the potential impacts of a change in Scotland's relationship with the rest of the UK.

"In the event of a Yes vote, cross-border trading and currency arrangements loom large in businesses' thinking. If Scotland votes No, constitutional questions remain around the devolution of power and the distribution of public funding between nations.

"Business communities across the UK have diverse views on the Scottish independence debate. Yet one thing is for certain. Regardless of how Scotland votes in September, things will never be quite the same again.''

The BCC said 2,381 businesses based in England, Wales and Northern Ireland responded to its survey between April 14 and 17.

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