Scotland is “open for business” after the Brexit result, according to leading Scottish business groups who are calling for the UK and Scottish governments to show leadership and collaborate in the aftermath of the vote.
Six business groups, comprising the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, Scottish Financial Enterprise, Scottish Council for Development & Industry, CBI and Institute of Directors, have compiled a joint statement on the back of attending the First Minister’s EU business summit earlier this week.
They said they collectively represent “the broadest spectrum of businesses” who are considering the “opportunities and challenges” set to arise from the outcome of the EU referendum.
“Our members hold diverse views on the European Union but the need to drive prosperity – by preserving jobs, attracting investment and driving economic growth for Scotland – is what brings us together.”
Praising firms for “doing what they do best by maintaining ‘business as usual’,” the organisations added: “We underline our belief that Scotland is a great place to do business and that we are, ‘open for business’.”
They said they look to both governments to prioritise key business issues such as access to EU markets, “clear protection” of EU nationals in Scotland, and support for non-UK EU nationals who run businesses north of the Border.
In response to the statement, Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: “The message couldn’t be clearer – it is time for both governments to work together as ‘Team UK’ to find a way forward that is the best possible for Scotland and the whole of the UK.”
He added: “Yesterday I had my second meeting with [cabinet secretary for culture, Europe and external affairs] Fiona Hyslop to discuss these issues and next week I will be meeting with the First Minister of Scotland to take these discussions forward.
“Following that meeting, I am keen that the UK Government and the Scottish Government meet jointly with the business community in Scotland to continue the dialogue. Scotland does best when its two governments work together. By taking matters forward in this way, we can ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard and act with common purpose in the interests of the economy in Scotland and the whole of the UK.”