Trade and drinks firms react to ‘no’ vote

TRADE groups and drinks firms have pledged to continue to work with both the Scottish and Westminster governments after Scotland voted ‘no’ to independence in the referendum on September 18.

Hospitality and business organisations said they welcomed the “clarity” following the referendum, in which 2,001,926 people voted ‘no’ to independence, with 1,617,989 voting ‘yes’.
After the result was declared, Alex Salmond called for the unionist parties to deliver more powers for the Scottish Parliament; David Cameron pledged to honour that.
Willie Macleod, executive director of the British Hospitality Association Scotland, said Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry must be given “every support to succeed, grow and compete internationally”.
“The Scottish hospitality industry welcomes the clarity which follows the referendum vote that Scotland is to remain part of the United Kingdom,” he said.
“There are many issues that will require attention as arrangements are made to devolve greater powers to the Scottish Parliament.”
Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, said: “For all business owners, regardless of the way they voted, it is now vital that they focus on growing their businesses over the coming years with a relative platform of stability.”
Drinks giant Diageo, whose brands include Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, said it will “continue to focus on what matters for our business as the implications of further devolved powers become clearer”.
“We will continue to work in partnership with both the UK and the Scottish governments to ensure the most favourable business environment possible, both for Diageo and for the future growth and success of Scotch whisky as an industry,” said a spokeswoman.
David Frost, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “We welcome the stability that this choice brings and now urge politicians of all parties to work to bring our country together.”
• See SLTN October 2 for full comment and reaction.