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How can Scotland improve business growth?

With independence, the Scottish Government and Parliament will have control over the full suite of economic levers, including taxation, business regulation, infrastructure and investment.

The government of an independent Scotland will be able to create a more supportive, competitive and dynamic business environment.

Within the powers currently available the Scottish Government is pursuing a range of actions supporting sustainable economic growth and higher quality jobs, including the Small Business Bonus Scheme, supporting Foreign Direct Investment, the Scottish Investment Bank and investment in infrastructure.

With independence, future Scottish Governments will be able to develop these policies further to enable Scotland’s businesses to reach their full potential. Future Scottish governments will have the ability to make choices over tax, use measures to boost innovation and exports, promote good industrial relations and support small and medium enterprises.

For example, corporation tax rates remain an important tool for securing that competitive advantage. Following independence we will announce a timetable for a reduction in the corporation tax rate of up to three percentage points. Modelling has already suggested that such a cut could increase the level of output by 1.4 per cent, boost overall employment in Scotland by 1.1 per cent (equivalent to 27,000 jobs) and raise overall investment in the Scottish economy by 1.9 per cent over the long term.

Other key policies to support business that we plan to introduce include:

  • supporting investment, including research and development

  • strengthening the role of the Scottish Investment Bank

  • expanding skill development, bringing together employment and skills policies and putting modern apprenticeships at the heart of our approach

  • expanding manufacturing, with a particular focus on manufacturing opportunities through the development of our offshore energy potential

  • targeted use of loan guarantees

  • reduce Air Passenger Duty by 50 per cent to boost international connections

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will Scotland still trade with the rest of the UK?

Yes. The rest of the UK is Scotland’s main trading partner and this will continue following independence.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will financial services firms still be able to operate across the UK and EU?

Yes. Firms and institutions based in Scotland will continue to operate across UK and EU markets.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will Scotland keep its trading relationships in Europe and across the world?

Yes. Scotland will maintain its trading relationships as an independent member of the European Union. As an EU member state Scotland will continue to benefit from participation in the World Trade Organisation and other relevant international trade organisations.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will an independent Scotland improve exports?

Independence will enable the Scottish Government to focus investment in Scotland’s overseas representation in ways that will deliver key gains for Scotland’s economy, including more targeted support for companies wishing to export for the first time or increase their existing level of exporting.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will Scottish industries be promoted in the EU?

Yes. As an independent member of the EU, Scotland will have a seat at the top table in the European Institutions. This will enable the Scottish Government to better promote our economic and social interests in EU affairs.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will companies be able to make a public share offering in an independent Scotland?

Independence will have no impact on Scottish companies’ ability to make a public share offering. Companies from any country can be listed on a stock exchange provided that they meet the criteria of that exchange.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Would companies based in an independent Scotland still be able to float on the London stock exchange?

Yes. Businesses and individuals in an independent Scotland will retain access to capital markets in the UK and globally. For example, around 2,500 companies from over 70 jurisdictions are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will an independent Scotland need new systems for trading on international financial and stock markets?

No. In the Sterling Area, existing domestic and global systems and infrastructure would continue to facilitate Sterling-based transactions

Global trading activity in any stock will remain as it is now, and continue to depend on the market on which that particular company’s stock was traded.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will an independent Scotland need new systems for trading on international financial and stock markets?

Under EU public procurement law, Scottish firms will continue to have access to procurement opportunities across Europe. Independence will give Scotland our own voice in the EU in order to secure improvements for business. At home we will continue the distinctive Scottish approach to generate training and employment opportunities through public procurement.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.