Majority of European businesses say Scottish independence will have no impact on their business but a third believe it would encourage further separation in Europe.

  • 90% of European businesses say that if Scotland left the UK it would have no impact on their business.Of those who believe it would impact their business 85% say the effect will be negative not positive
  • 31% believe if Scotland became independent other regions in European countries would follow
  • And 27% believe more countries becoming independent would have a negative impact on their business

Statistics published today by The European Business Awards and RSM International, lead sponsor of the awards and the world’s seventh largest global audit, tax and advisory network, show that 90% of European businesses believe that Scottish independence would have ‘no impact’ on their company, with only one in ten businesses stating it would. Of the 10% remaining, 85% said it would have a negative impact with 15% saying a positive impact would follow.

Additionally, 31% of all businesses surveyed said that if Scotland gained independence they believe other regions in other European countries would move towards independence, as is already being seen in Catalan, Spain. 27% felt this would have a negative impact on their business.

350 companies from all business sectors in 33 countries across Europe, who are currently entered in The European Business Awards for 2014-5, responded to the survey regarding the effect of a potential separation of Scotland and other countries in Europe.

Adrian Tripp, CEO of the European Business Awards said: “Whilst the majority see little impact for their business if Scotland became independent, the wider repercussions are more strongly felt. The responses clearly show that many businesses believe a break-up of Europe in the current climate would be seen as a threat to its global position.”

Jean Stephens, CEO of RSM International, said: “While European companies report that Scottish independence won’t have an immediate impact on them, there is a real concern among a significant chunk of businesses about the knock-on effect on the stability and competitiveness of the continent.  Europe remains in a precarious economic position and both governments and businesses would need to work very carefully to minimise potential repercussions resulting from an independent Scotland.”

The businesses that believe there would be a negative impact from Scottish independence cited unanswered questions around the currency, additional infrastructure costs and trading issues as key reasons. The companies who felt it would be positive (all based outside of the UK) felt it could open up potential business opportunities as a new market.

The main reasons for the belief of a negative increase if more regions became independent countries are an impact of the global competiveness of Europe, potential barriers to free trade and increased regulation. Only 4% of businesses felt it would have a positive impact and again stated new market business opportunities as the basis of this.

The European Business Awards, now in its eighth year and sponsored by RSM since its inception, was set up to recognise and reward excellence, best practice and innovation in companies of all sizes and sectors across the European business community.

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