Scotland announces plans for second independence referendum: what will this mean for small businesses?

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has announced her plans to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence, but what will that mean for small businesses?

Timetable for the Scottish referendum

Sturgeon said her preferred date for the referendum would be between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, meaning Scotland could move to separate from England and Wales as early as next year.

However, the process is not that straightforward, and Sturgeon’s announcement could have wide reaching implications for small businesses in the UK

How will the Scottish referendum affect Brexit?

Without a set date for the Scottish referendum, negotiations regarding Brexit could be delayed, as Sturgeon acknowledged in her speech.

Additionally, the potential loss of Scotland could impact the deal the rest of the UK is able to strike with the European union.

What can small businesses expect?

While we don’t know whether Scotland will vote yes or no - or whether Sturgeon will even get authority to trigger a second independence referendum - we could be in for more economic uncertainty in the meantime.

Last year, the government said that “the [Brexit] negotiating period could have an impact on financial markets, investment, and the value of the pound”. If the negotiation period is going to be prolonged, securing investment for business ventures could become trickier as lenders hedge their bets while we await an outcome.

And while this potential economic turmoil affects businesses, it will also affect consumers. There’s likely to be less spending power in the near future, meaning any businesses who deal directly with customers may see fewer of them coming in.

How do you feel about a second Scottish independence referendum? Tell us in the comments

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