Procurement to ‘heave a sigh of relief’ following Scotland no vote

Gurjit Degun
19 September 2014

Procurement professionals in Scotland will “heave a sigh of relief” following the announcement of a no vote early this morning in the Scotland referendum.

That’s according to John Milne, a procurement consultant at Hampco based in Aberdeen, who said he is “very pleased” with the result. The referendum saw 55.3 per cent of Scots vote against independece.

“There’s a sense of relief and a vindication because much of the media were supporting the hype of the nationalists who were giving an unfeasible argument,” he told SM. “It’s a relief for the oil and gas sector too, we know which regime we have to negotiate with now.

“For procurement, it has taken the fear factor away – the changes would have cost a lot of money. So procurement will heave a sigh of relief that they won’t have to take on the changes.”

The Confederation of British Industry’s director-general John Cridland also said that the result “will be greeted by a collective sigh of relief across the business community”.

He added: “As the debate now moves to the question of further devolution, it is important that it does not undermine the strength of the single internal market and it is in the best interests of citizens living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as those in Scotland.

“Such a difficult campaign inevitably leaves scars which will take time to heal and we now need politicians, businesses and citizens to unite to achieve a better future for all in the UK.”

Anthony Newjem, chief procurement officer at Heriot-Watt University Group, explained that the higher education sector remains “completely neutral”. However, he added that anything that improves stability and certainty for supply chains is welcome.

Newjem also said: “With a more federal government now being talked about for the rest of the UK, I expect the regions to effectively follow the Scottish model with devolved budgetary responsibilities leading to a more empowered local public procurement landscape. Public sector procurement will be used as a means to improve local employment, and encourage local companies to participate in developing sustainable local economies.”

Graeme Urquhart, group procurement and supply chain manager at Dana Petroleum, said that the result is "no surprise". "All it does is it changes the goal posts now from full independence to whatever devo max looks like. But then again however devo max looks like, it won't have the same financial risks that full independence may have had."

The Federation of Small Businesses’ Scottish policy convenor Andy Willox added: “We must now focus on the future and how we can come together to make Scotland the best place to live, work and do business. With the Scottish Parliament set to become a more powerful actor in our economy, the touchstones of the new devolution settlement must be boosting business and growth. In the weeks and months to come, we look forward to playing our part in making that happen.”

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