Scottish Independence ‘Would Harm Infrastructure Investment’

A poll that indicates growing support for Scotland to become independent of the United Kingdom, published 16 days ahead of the referendum, has implications for infrastructure investment according to law firm Clyde & Co.

The Times
reports the latest YouGov poll that shows support for independence is at 47%, against 53% who say they want to remain part of the UK.

Support for separation has risen 8% in a month, suggesting that the momentum is firmly with the nationalists. Undecided voters are twice as likely to choose independence when they come to vote, and the proportion of Labour voters backing separation has risen from 18% to 30% since August.

A ‘yes’ vote would see Scotland move powers such as taxation, welfare and the economy from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament. “Unsurprisingly, this has infrastructure investors worried,” the firm comments.

“Scotland has traditionally been an attractive place for infrastructure investment with first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond recognising infrastructure as one the six key priorities for a successful economy in an independent Scotland,” adds Liz Jenkins, a partner at Clyde & Co.

“The innovative development of Scottish procurement models, such as the non profit distributing (NPD) form of private finance, which has superseded the traditional private finance initiative (PFI) model in Scotland, has been hailed a success by contractors. However, investors want certainty and consistency. The now real prospect of Scottish independence presents a significant economic risk; something that is far from attractive to investors.”

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