SCDI's comment on the 24 June 2016 outcome of the UK's EU Referendum:

"In line with our previously stated position on membership of the EU, SCDI and many of our members are disappointed that the overall outcome will mean that Scotland and the rest of the UK will leave the EU, however we respect the outcome of the Referendum vote.

"Regardless of any position on the Referendum result, it is essential that the Scottish and UK Governments, the Bank of England and international institutions implement their contingency plans and respond effectively to maintain stability. While many businesses also have plans, they will need the close engagement and support of government.

"As the focus turns to negotiations on the future relationship between Scotland and the UK and the EU, the Scottish and UK Governments should work closely with Scottish business and with civic Scotland. There is a need to develop an agreement which will support prosperity, maintain partnerships and progress common priorities across Europe." 

SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) had announced on 9 May 2016 that, following a consultation of our members, we supported the UK's continued membership of the European Union. 

As Scotland's leading independent economic development network, with membership ranging across the private, public and social economy sectors including a wide variety of businesses, professional associations and trade unions, the public sector, faith groups and charitable organisations - a Survey of our members highlighted clear support for the UK remaining inside the EU, but a small number of members did not hold that view.

You can read that previous statement here.

Further to the outcome of the recent EU Referendum, SCDI engaged on behalf of our Members with both the Scottish Government & UK Government at two business roundtable discussion sessions hosted in Edinburgh on 5 July 2016.

The UK Government session was hosted by the Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell MP; with the Scottish Government's meeting at Bute House chaired by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP alongside Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs & Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP.

Some common themes emerging from both of these discussions and expressed by those in attendance included a desire for access to the Single Market; clarity on Freedom of Movement of citizens; an agile but stable Regulatory environment; and an increased need for integrated Infrastructure projects to help sustain and boost the economy.

SCDI highlighted the common cause of a need for economic stability for businesses and our desire to see both Governments work together to find effective solutions going forward and to demonstrate to all sectors - private, public and social economy - a unity of economic purpose. It is positive to see the Governments engaging at an early stage with business and civic Scotland on this key issue. We maintain there is a need to develop an agreement which will support prosperity, maintain partnerships and progress common priorities across Europe.

During this post-Referendum period, we will continue to take the temperature across the economy and work hard to understand the implications for businesses and organisations in Scotland. We will continue to seek the views of our members, across all sectors and in all geographies, to ensure that these continue to be communicated to both the Scottish & UK Governments as we work with them together for the Scottish economy.

Following the above Government and Business meetings on 5 July, a Joint Statement was then issued by Scotland's 6 main business groups including SCDI, FSB, IoD Scotland, SFE, CBI Scotland and Scottish Chambers. You can read this statement below:

"Scottish Business Groups Call For Leadership & Collaboration Following EU Referendum Outcome"

On Tuesday 5 July, Scottish business groups attended the First Minister's EU Business Summit at Bute House (Edinburgh). The 6 business groups included Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, Scottish Financial Enterprise, Scottish Council for Development & Industry, Confederation of British Industry and Institute of Directors.

This joint statement recognises the leadership Scottish businesses are showing and urges them to continue to collaborate and identify the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. It also calls on the Scottish & UK Governments to demonstrate leadership and maintain joint working relationships.

Full Statement:

"Across Scotland, the businesses we represent are considering the opportunities and challenges that will arise from the outcome of the EU Referendum. Collectively, we represent the broadest spectrum of businesses including private sector firms, public sector and the social economy. Our members hold diverse views on the European Union but the need to drive prosperity - by preserving jobs, attracting investment and driving economic growth for Scotland - is what brings us together.

"To businesses, we applaud the immediate response: businesses doing what they do best by maintaining 'business as usual' when trading with European Union markets, and exploring the possible opportunities that lie ahead, both in European markets and globally. We underline our belief that Scotland is a great place to do business and that we are, 'open for business.' Our organisations will continue to use our resources and connections to promote this message.

"Within the business community there is unanimous agreement that we need strong leadership and clarity of the timeframe for next steps from both Governments, in order to create more stability and to maintain business, consumer and investor confidence. We recommend that both Governments establish areas of common interest, making sure positive outcomes are achieved.

"We are committed to working in collaboration with the Scottish & UK Governments to secure the best deal for Scottish businesses in the negotiations that lie ahead. These negotiations will determine our future trading relationships with the European Union and will also influence how we trade with the rest of the world.

"We look to both Governments to prioritise these key business issues:

  • Access to the European Union markets, currently worth over £11 billion to Scottish businesses;
  • Access to a talented, skilled workforce, including the clear protection of EU nationals currently studying, living and working in Scotland, because their skills are crucial to the success of our businesses;
  • Support for non-UK EU nationals who run businesses in Scotland;
  • Following through on planned infrastructure projects like airport expansion and digital broadband rollout;
  • Maintaining the competitive edge of Scottish business by reviewing "domestic" areas of control including supportive taxation rates for businesses.

"It is our belief that by delivering on these priorities, we will boost business confidence, and send the signal globally, that Scotland continues to be an attractive destination to start, build and grow a business."

(Joint signatories 07/07/16 - SCDI, FSB, Scottish Chambers, CBI Scotland, IoD Scotland, SFE)

SCDI hosted 2 Business Roundtables with Scottish and UK Government Ministers - Keith Brown MSP and Dr Liam Fox MP, in late August 2016 to discuss how - in the current economic climate and following the recent EU Referendum - to improve support for Productivity, Innovation, Internationalisation and Infrastructure. You can read about these sessions here.