While the Yes and No campaigns attempt to sway Scottish voters into choosing their cause in the upcoming independence vote, the oil and gas industry has come out in favour of apathy, with the majority of companies saying either result will have a minimal impact on their business, and less than half having a clear preference.
The findings come by way of a new report from the Aberdeen and Grampian Chambers of Commerce and the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute, which took in the views of 700 oil and gas firms, some of the largest employers of contractors in Scotland. The results found that 38% of firms did not believe the result of the referendum will impact their business in any way, while 18% believe independence will be positive for their sector, and 12% think it would be a negative.
Uisdean Vass of legal firm Bond Dickinson, who sponsored the research, said:
“The survey’s findings on the referendum are absolutely what we would have expected. Naturally enough, businesses – especially foreign-owned businesses – rarely agitate for constitutional change.
“However, when asked what they thought about the impact of a ‘Yes’ vote, the majority expressed no opinion. Of the minority who did express an opinion, a slight majority were favourable. While we find lots of interest in the referendum in the north east oil and gas community we do not find great concern about the result.”
A similar survey last month took in the views of Scottish citizens, and found the majority were yearning for a more informed debate on the issues.
Photo by Ed Schipul