New pro-EU campaign launched by Scottish businesses

SCOTTISH businesses want to see the UK remaining in the European Union (EU), the immediate devolution and abolition of air passenger duty (APD) and more readily available export finance, according to a new campaign targeting politicians.

Picture: AFP

The Scottish Business Voice Campaign, led by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network, will set out a series of policy “asks” which its members want to see the UK and Scottish governments implement.

It has published a list of measures which will enable more businesses to expand globally.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Its members want Scotland and the UK to remain within the EU, ensuring that businesses continue to benefit from the single European market.

The campaign also calls for more readily available export finance and the immediate devolution and abolition of APD to ensure that the cost of air travel is reduced by £251 million per year.

It also wants “international languages of business” to be mandatory in the curriculum from primary one onwards and opportunities for overseas study to become mandatory for university degrees by 2020.

A world-class, global business-to-business network to support and develop Scotland’s businesses should also be set up, the campaign states.

Scottish Chambers of Commerce director Liz Cameron said: “A number of Scotland’s businesses are already succeeding on a global scale but there are simply not enough of them.

“If we are to become a more dynamic, broadly-based and growing economy, then many more businesses will need to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by international trade.

“This is the time for us, the Scottish business community, to take the lead and for the chamber network to utilise our unparalleled international business connections, tapping into the potential of new international markets and orders.

“Our governments have historically set targets for increasing the value of our international exports.

“This has merit, but a welcomed additional target would be to increase the number of Scottish businesses involved in exporting, both in goods and services.

“This is an area where we are lagging behind as a nation and which urgently needs to be addressed.”