Chamber of Commerce: ‘The Scottish people have spoken’

Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce, Sinead McLaughlin.
Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce, Sinead McLaughlin.

Speaking after yesterday’s referendum on Scottish independence the Chief Executive of the city’s Chamber of Commerce, Sinead McLaughlin said: “The Scottish people have spoken, their wishes must be respected in full and the United Kingdom as a whole must now move on.

“The outcome of the referendum provides both an opportunity and a necessity for the Government to review the devolution arrangements for every nation and region within the United Kingdom. Let us be honest, the current devolution arrangements for Northern Ireland are not at present working.

“It is very disturbing that the immediate response by the Prime Minister was focused on the situation in England. Even more worrying were William Hague’s comments about the potential ending of the Barnett Formula. Cutting through the words, what he means is potentially a big cut in financial support from London for both Northern Ireland and Scotland. This is not what the Scottish people voted for and it is obviously not what people and businesses in Northern Ireland want or expect. We are already coping with a very tough financial settlement and cuts.

“This is the moment to discuss the full range of devolution issues. It is essential that politicians in Westminster and Stormont deal with this as a priority. The outcome is of enormous importance to the business community.”