Scottish independence: Business group urges post-vote unity

image copyrightAndreas Wolff
image captionScottish Chambers of Commerce said it recognised there were strong feelings on both sides of the debate

A leading Scottish business group has called for the country to unite "to drive Scotland forward", whatever the result of the independence referendum.

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce said the outcome would leave "a substantial number" of people disappointed.

But it warned that the referendum must not become defined in terms of winners and losers.

The organisation said the Scottish economy performed best "when we work together with a common purpose".

In a statement, chief executive Liz Cameron said her organisation had taken "a strictly impartial view on the debate" from the outset, because it recognised the strength of feeling among many business people and individuals on both sides.

'Come together'

She commented: "Whichever direction the people of Scotland choose in Thursday's referendum, one thing is clear: on Friday, we must all come together to drive Scotland forward, either as an independent nation or as part of the United Kingdom.

"Either choice will leave a substantial number of people disappointed but on Friday 19 September, we simply cannot afford to have a country divided.

"The referendum on Scottish independence must not become defined in terms of winners and losers.

"We will not benefit as a nation if almost half of our people do not feel part of the future that we have determined for ourselves."

She added: "The Scottish economy performs best when we work together with a common purpose and the priority for our politicians on Friday must be to reach out to those who are left disappointed by the outcome of the referendum and ensure that they play an active role in helping to build our future economy.

"On 19 September, it will be time to focus this energy on making a success of the constitutional direction that the people of Scotland have chosen.

"Let's all unite and get back to the business of generating wealth, jobs and success."

'One voice'

Her view was echoed by a leading figure in the Scottish legal sector, who called for Scottish businesses to speak out with "one voice", regardless of the outcome of Thursday's referendum vote.

Kirk Murdoch, chairman of Pinsent Masons in Scotland, said it was "imperative that Scotland remains open for business" and that there should be no postponement of investment decisions after the historic poll.

He said: "Any prolonged period of uncertainty or hiatus in investment would damage the economy and the prospects of the citizens of Scotland whether as part of the UK or not.

"The message must go out with one voice, from all of us in the Scottish business community, that Scotland remains open for business.

"I urge everybody in the commercial world, no matter which way they vote this week, to make that their mantra for the days and weeks ahead."

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