The UK government has caused uncertainty with its ‘panicked, last minute’ referendum tactics, the chief executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping has claimed.
Guy Platten will claim Scottish business has been left vulnerable by the methods used by the Better Together campaign to win the Scottish referendum two months ago.
He describes the devo-max plans outlined by Westminster as being written on the ‘back of a fag packet’.
At a meeting of the Scottish Shipping Benevolent Association tonight, Mr Platten will claim the uncertainty has left the shipping industry of no clear view as to what taxation, government spending, training or the future workforce will look like.
Around 42,000 people work in the shipping sector in Scotland, and shipping contributes £2.2billion to the Scottish economy.
Speaking in front of 500 senior figures Mr Platten will say: “Scotland has to heal. When a country has been so divided, when it has spent so long looking inwards, it cannot suddenly look outwards with confidence and optimism – the two things that every country needs to succeed.
“As a major industry, shipping needs to play a significant role in that healing process.
“But frankly, that task has been made more difficult by panicked, last-minute tactics deployed by the Better Together campaign.
“We know that uncertainty is the enemy of business. It is the enemy of job creation. And the enemy of growth.
“The democratic decision of the Scottish people should have brought an end to that uncertainty, but it has not.
“The option of Devo-Max should not have been a last minute offering scribbled on the back of a fag packet. It should have been an option all along.
“What we have now is more uncertainty. Because none of us know what Devo-Max actually looks like.
“We don’t know what it means for the taxation of our companies, or government spending on training our future workforce.
“And until we do, our companies will find it very difficult to develop their own strategies for business success.”