By Glenn Vaughan, CEO
Check out Glenn’s twitter for more thoughts and insights: @GlennVaughan_
There have been plenty of business people putting the economic case for keeping the union. And a fair few putting the opposing argument. Overall, there’ll be costs and dislocation in the short and medium term, but I’m less convinced that the longer term case would be negative. Either way, the economic case will not be the most important issue. And either way, Scotland will continue to be important – including to the British Chamber and its members.
Whatever happens, the ‘business case’ will not win the argument alone – especially when the public has a poor regard for big business in general. And however many senior representatives of businesses big or small make public statements about the costs or benefits, it’s only the background music to a wider debate.
Plenty of commentators have remarked that this referendum vote will be about ‘hearts not heads’. The arguments that are connecting with people are more about the things that really matter – whether you’re voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’. These are things like identity, belonging, self-esteem, shared experience and shared values.
Encouragingly, what really matters are values.
We shouldn’t be surprised by that because the most successful businesses know that anyway. When they have the choice, people are more motivated to work for organisations that share their values and will choose products and services that reflect their values and aspirations.
As businesses, we also choose to work with people and companies that share our values too. That’s why we join, and get actively involved in chambers of commerce. Whoever you are and wherever your company is from, the British Chamber is a welcoming, open and inclusive international business network – because that’s what we value. That’s why we already have easily the most international membership of any chamber here.
So whatever the outcome, Scottish business, and Scotland more generally, will continue to be important to us and our members.