Last week saw the people of Scotland vote ‘no’ in a historic referendum, at Axis Telecom we witnessed the reaction of the UK’s business community, who expressed relief.
Fears for business over a ‘Yes’ Vote
Axis Telecom have been keeping a keen eye on the Scottish debate over independence. In the run up to last Thursday’s vote, businesses spoke out against the measure in the media, many felt that a ‘Yes’ vote would be bad both for their profit margins, and for the national economy as a whole.
It’s true that many businesses owners on both sides of the boarder were pleased with the outcome of the referendum. Those institutions with large investments in the area were quickest to express the relief they felt.
Banks lead Reaction to ‘No’ Vote
The banking community in particular expressed relief at the ‘No’ vote. Banks such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Life, Lloyd’s TSB and Tesco Bank had stated they would consider moving their operations south of the border should Scotland vote to break away from the UK.
RBS put out a statement suggesting that following a ‘no’ vote, "that contingency plan is no longer required. Following the result it is business as usual for all our customers across the UK and RBS," a decision echoed in statements by Standard Life, Lloyd’s TSB and others.
Business Lobbying Groups Welcome the ‘No’ stance
Meanwhile, business groups, who represent the best interests of SMEs expressed “relief” at the decision. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director general John Cridland commented that "business has always believed that the Union is best for creating jobs."
He added that, "this is a momentous day for our United Kingdom and this result will be greeted by a collective sigh of relief across the business community."
Business Community in relief
Scottish Independence may have been an explosive subject in Scotland that stirred up some passion on both sides, but the expression of relief at a ‘no’ vote by the business community is powerful. It suggests that staying together is better for the business community at large - a suggestion mirrored by the sudden rise of the pound on the release of the news. Small business have expressed relief because it seemed as if they would have been most vulnerable to a possible economic fall-out if a ‘Yes’ vote had been victorious.