If you haven’t heard about the issues on the road to Scottish independence then you’ve probably been hiding under a rock. It’s well known that a referendum will soon take place to decide if Scotland should become independent from the United Kingdom. But do you know what Scottish independence could mean for your business? Are you in the car industry? If so, have you thought about how independence for Scotland could affect you?
Legal and Economic Changes
If Scotland were to vote yes to independence from the United Kingdom, it would mean the end to the United Kingdom as it is now. And when these changes are put into place, there will be a number of legal and economic issues to handle – many of which will affect the car industry and also small businesses in Scotland. For example, car dealerships will need to put into place new terms and conditions to reflect the new trading rules and the legal status of businesses in Scotland.
Car dealerships from used cars in Inverness to new car showrooms in Edinburgh will have to deal with the consequences of a possible change in currency. While it is no means certain that Scotland would “lose” the pound if it became an independent country, some politicians say that it will be the case. If Scotland was forced to use its own currency then cars in the new currency would probably be cheaper than those purchased in pound sterling, due to devaluation against the sterling.
Scotland, the EU and Imports/ Exports
If Scotland were to exit the EU, if only for a short time, then this would have major implications for the car industry in terms of the cost of exports and imports, and the availability of parts and the competitiveness of the market. It could become difficult for car firms in Scotland to do business with companies in the rest of the UK, unless there were decent trade agreements negotiated by the politicians. However, if the agreements are drawn up effectively then the UK would become Scotland’s most important trading partner and car businesses would need to find the most profitable ways to take advantage of the new situation.
What About Labour in the Car Industry?
While some people claim that an independent Scotland will mean restrictions on the entry of workers from the rest of the UK into the independent country, it is unlikely that this will be the case and the car industry will not suffer any labour shortage – there is not likely to be a set of “border controls” for passing in and out of Scotland to England.
On 18 September Scotland goes to the polls. The result will be known after the polls close, depending on when the votes are counted and verified. Anyone over the age of 16 can vote in the referendum , who also lives in Scotland.