Billions of pounds worth of construction projects will be at risk if Scotland votes to leave the UK, a leading consultancy has predicted.
Economic uncertainty and protracted post-referendum negotiations between Edinburgh and Westminster following a Yes vote would put about £8bn of ventures in jeopardy – about a fifth of the nation’s planned construction works – estimates Barbour ABI.
Institutional investors were especially nervous about the currency an independent Scotland would use, said Michael Dall, lead economist. The projections about the possible impact on the construction sector come after a person with knowledge of a big project to double the size of the Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow said it would be in jeopardy following a yes vote.
Pro-independence campaigners say such concerns are unfounded. Deals in the property sector are still going ahead, although some now include exit clauses allowing buyers to pull out in the event of a Yes vote. Over the past year construction in Scotland has held up better than in the rest of the UK, outside London and the southeast.
However, Mr Dall said: “It’s unsure what will actually come to fruition if it’s a Yes vote.” He raised particular concerns about the renewable energy sector, which is supported by a UK-wide subsidy.