Europe

‘Never-endum’ groundhog day for EU-friendly Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon is attempting to negotiate some kind of EU membership and access to the single market

Investment volumes in Scotland could plummet again as a result of the turmoil around Brexit and the prospect of another independence referendum.

Research by Cushman & Wakefield showed large drops in investment volumes before the Scottish Referendum in September 2014. In the second quarter of 2014 investment was down to £397m from £687m in the first quarter.

After the September Scottish referendum, volume jumped again to £959m as paused deals went through in October.

David Peck, managing director of Buccleuch Property and former chairman of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “We have lived with uncertainty for a long time in Scotland in the expectation that we would go back to some normality.

“That hasn’t happened. The risk hasn’t gone away and, if anything, the ‘never-endum’ debate has heated up.”

He added: “The bottom line is that for most people, the rational reaction is to do nothing.”

The managing director of one of Scotland’s largest development firms said: “One worry is  that speculative schemes could be delayed.”

David Davidson, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield in Scotland, said: “There is a feeling people still want to do things, but don’t know at what prices.”

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon is attempting to negotiate some kind of EU membership and access to the single market for Scotland, but faces opposition.

While the UK as a whole voted by 52% to 48% to leave the EU, 62% of Scottish voters voted to remain. Sturgeon said another independence referendum was highly likely.

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