Anticipation is spreading like wildfire in the press and social media with the only words on the street “Scotland Decides”. Today, 18 September 2014 is set to become the most important day in their history due to their Independence Referendum.
It was only 10 days ago the No campaign and Westminster assumed victory but recent polls suggest the decision is too close to call. Whatever way today’s result, Scotland will never be governed the same with the promise of more powers from centralised Government.
The UK is an economy built on debt but what would an independent Scotland do about its share of Britain’s £1.3 trillion debt pile? Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, has insisted Scotland would keep the pound but not accept its share which is backed entirely by the Treasury. It appears both parties would have to enter into the process of mediation in order find an amicable way forward.
Visible from our eastern coasts on a clear day, the businesses and tradesmen of Northern Ireland are watching with interest and wondering what the reality of a Yes vote may mean for us. With current estimations predicting sales to Scotland from Northern Ireland are worth £1bn annually, how will an independent Scotland affect our own economy?
A new border system, the possibility of an exchange rate, even with a No vote, the promised increase in devolved powers to Scotland will forge a change in Corporation Tax. Business competition will become fiercer with our local political leaders hopefully calling on devolution of similar powers.
In its simplest terms, the withdrawal of Scottish contribution to the UK economy will no doubt see further cuts implemented to the Public Sector of the mainland and Northern Ireland. The resultant increased austerity will see stretched businesses, stretched household budgets and debt becoming even more unaffordable than it already is.
We will not know the outcome of the vote until early tomorrow morning, but regardless of the decision made, there is going to be massive implications for the Northern Ireland economy.
Either way Scotland has taken a stance, and by challenging the norms, will experience change for what they believe is the better. Through a process of educating themselves on what is best for them the Scottish people have empowered themselves to make their own destiny...as Scotland Decides.