UK Chamber COE appeals for divisions to be ‘healed’ after Scottish referendum


scottish-flag-scotlandFollowing the long-awaited Referendum on Scottish independence and the returning of a ‘no’ vote this morning (Friday) Guy Platten, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Chamber of Shipping has called for the divisions created by the campaign to be “healed – across industries, businesses and communities alike.”

Writing on his blog for the Chamber today, Mr Platten, who left Scotland and his role as Chief Executive of Caledonian Maritime Assets last year, wrote: “When I left Scotland late last year to become Chief Executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping, the referendum debate was already reaching fever pitch. I think few people south of the border had, at the time, a real understanding of just how divisive the campaign had become.

“The UK Chamber was never going to publicly back one side, but it is no secret that we have expressed significant concerns about what independence would look like for a shipping industry that is a powerhouse of the Scottish economy.

He said the Chamber had held numerous meetings and events for members and the Scottish Government to address these concerns.

“In business we know that the enemy of growth is uncertainty. And whichever side you supported, there has been tremendous uncertainty across not just the Scottish economy, but the UK as a whole. As the polls tightened in the closing weeks of the campaign, billions of pounds were wiped off the stock market and the pound plummeted against every major currency in the developed world. The result of yesterday’s referendum has eased that uncertainty, but frankly the result was just too close to put an end to the independence question.”

The UK Chamber, he believes, has won many friends during the campaign and he said the Scottish Government had valued the expertise it had been able to provide. He said the Chamber was already working towards an event in Holyrood, Edinburgh in November and would continue its work across all aspects of Scottish shipping from Aberdeen to Glasgow.

“A key part of my strategy is to foster deep and productive relationships with our Scottish members – as well as those we need to influence in Edinburgh and beyond.”

The final result of the vote was 55% ‘no’ and 45% ‘yes’.