The Single Market and Financial Services

14th February, 2017

Scottish money

The full text can be downloaded here. It contains several references in support of his arguments.

Colin Imrie, independent analyst on European policy, explains why the European single market is central to the future of Scotland’s economic prospects.

It was designed largely by British policy makers with Jacques Delors and his team in the Commission in the 1980s in order to break down national protectionism and give European businesses the opportunity to compete on a level playing field with their international competitors. It has become, and remains, the key marketplace for Scotland’s most dynamic growth sectors and is supported by key investment vehicles such as the European Investment Bank, a major investor in key sectors in Scotland such as renewables.

The Single Market is particularly important to Scotland’s financial sector. Remaining in the single market, even if the rest of the UK leaves, could bring significant opportunities to Scottish based financial services companies. There could well be benefits in pursuing a differentiated approach for Scotland in relation to the financial sector. Colin suggests that the Scottish financial sector (along perhaps with some other sectors) be granted sufficient ‘independence’ – including some flexibility within the UK regulatory system – to allow it to continue using passporting rights in some areas, or some other differential treatment to facilitate access to EU markets, even while the rest of the UK chooses to act differently. This is particularly important with regard to maintaining and attracting new talent to the financial sector in Scotland.