While the political engagement of people in the run up to the referendum was sensational, relationships amongst friends, family, neighbours and colleagues may have become strained in the heat of the campaign. Society has been energised by the debate and we hope that this energy can now be channelled into building the bridges that we need as a society.
Following one of the longest and most hard-fought democratic campaigns in memory, the people living in Scotland have voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. Now that the big question has been answered, we enter a new period of opportunity for the country. During the referendum campaign, former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, stated that a No vote would be the ‘starting gun’ for greater devolution and outlined an ambitious timetable for legislative reform. This vow was supported by the three main Westminster political parties and should give Holyrood greater control over taxation, borrowing and welfare.
Since the result, David Cameron has linked Scottish devolution with wider constitutional reform for the whole of the UK which is likely to complicate matters. If the timetable runs to schedule, however, we can expect detailed proposals by the end of November, draft legislation to be published on 25th January 2015 and new legislation to be tabled by the next UK Government following the general election in May 2015.
Once implemented, it will be for the Scottish Government to decide how to execute the new powers. It is too early to speculate but, as always, we will keep our clients informed of any legislative or fiscal developments which could affect their financial plans.
As always, we, at Mearns and Company, remain committed to our clients - wherever they are in the world.
Artist's impression of the forthcoming Queensferry Crossing.
Registered in Scotland, Company Number: SC288945
Mearns & Company are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Registered office address: Anchor House, 112 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6NF