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Would Scottish Independence From UK Sink Its Maritime Fortunes?

A vote for independence from the UK would have a negative effect on the Scottish shipping and offshore maritime sector, according to a survey by international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens.

The survey elicited the views of leading members of the international shipping community on the predicted impact on Scotland’s shipping and offshore maritime industry of the country voting for independence on 18 September 2014. More than half the number of respondents to the survey felt that a vote for independence would have a negative effect. Two-thirds of respondents thought that a move away from the pound sterling by an independent Scotland would have a negative effect on offshore continental shelf and related onshore activities. Meanwhile, more than 70 percent admitted they had no plan of action for a potential “yes” vote.

Overall, 55 percent of respondents felt that independence from the UK would have a negative effect on the Scottish shipping and offshore maritime sector. Forty-five percent of all respondents had an existing business relationship with Scotland, and it was they who were most pessimistic about a “yes” vote for independence, with 69 percent believing it would have a negative impact. By comparison, 57 percent of those respondents with no existing business relationships with Scotland thought that a “yes” vote would have a positive effect. Meanwhile, 74 percent of respondents admitted they did not have an action plan for a potential “yes” vote.

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