MJI’s CEO attended Scotland s National Economic Forum (NEF) on 26 October in Edinburgh.
This was the 17th NEF and clearly demonstrates Scottish Government s long held commitment to engaging with Business and Public Sector leaders to take a joint approach to growing the Scottish economy.
This year Government was keen to discuss the risks and opportunities for the Scottish economy post the Brexit vote. The Forum followed two days on from the Joint Ministerial Committee held in Downing Street attended by all the elected leaders of the Devolved Nations and the UK Government.
MJI has gathered some formal key perspectives from the UK and Scottish Government which are provided below for reference.
Scottish Government Perspective
Welsh Government Perspective
Northern Ireland Perspective
UK Government Perspective
The MJI Perspective
MJI has followed the post Brexit debate within the political and business communities with a particular emphasis on the likely economic impact on the Devolved Regions, particularly Scotland, our home base.
What conclusions might we draw so far?
- We do believe that Scotland’s First Minister is right to pursue separate, parallel discussions with Europe and welcome the news that proposals will be brought forward for discussion in several weeks.
- We acknowledge the economic benefit that Scotland wishes to retain by remaining within the Single Market.
- We also believe that Scotland’s electorate will support maintaining free movement of people, capital as well as goods and services.
- We believe that Scotland ‘s electorate and businesses will support retaining hard won social protections.
- Scotland s political leadership will gain increasing support from others elected members in UK Government and elsewhere to refocus the UK Government negotiators on retaining single market membership.
- The agreement with Nissan, now available to all UK car manufacturers, will open the floodgates of special treatment requests from all business sectors and all Regions of the UK.
What are the implications for business?
- Businesses need to plan for a period of huge instability within the political environment, which will feed into continued economic slow/no growth as uncertainty breeds procrastination.
- UK businesses need to consider Scotland as an option for partial relocation alongside other European locations.
- Existing businesses in Scotland need to consider a second European location to mitigate risk.
- Scottish businesses need to strengthen relationships with Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament to influence, challenge and support ongoing negotiations not only with rest of UK but also with Europe.
- Scottish trade bodies need to build capacity to provide informed advice and deepen direct point to point engagement in Europe at all levels.