The majority (57%) of UK small and mid-cap quoted companies believe that Scotland leaving the United Kingdom will have no impact on their business, according to the latest quarterly QCA/BDO Small & Mid-Cap Sentiment Index. Just over a third (37%) of advisors to the sector think that Scotland’s departure will have no impact.
Nonetheless, just over a quarter (27%) of companies in the UK-wide poll and just over half (53%) of advisors to the sector believe that Scotland’s exit from the United Kingdom would have a negative effect on UK small and mid-cap quoted companies’ businesses. Only a small minority of companies (6%) and advisors (8%) say that the impact would be positive.
Tim Ward, Chief Executive of the Quoted Companies Alliance, comments: “Our survey suggests that some small and mid-cap quoted companies could be underestimating the toll that political uncertainty can take on a business. Political debates in Holyrood, Westminster and Brussels are not just distant arguments and the impact of any changes could quickly be felt by businesses that are unprepared.”
Scott Knight, Partner, BDO LLP, comments: “Small and mid-cap companies want stability and fear the uncertainty that would arise from a major political upheaval so it is not surprising to see that a quarter of companies view a breakaway from Scotland to be detrimental. The fact that the vast majority do not seem to care either way comes as somewhat of a surprise and does suggest a temptation to look at the short term impact rather than the longer term implications that an exit may have on their business and the economy as a whole.”