Our group had the distinct opportunity of being in the United Kingdom at a time when the vote for Scottish independence was taking place. After visiting Scotland, I continue to be amazed by the large cultural differences that exist between said country and England. Despite being only approximately three hours away by train, Scotland still maintains a large sense of cultural independence.
Though the general feeling at the time in England was that Scotland was not going to vote in favor of independence, it was still surprising that the vote was even taking place. The potential results at the time weren’t being discussed as much as the actions that led to the vote itself. Some felt that England had been a overbearing older sibling that was finally getting pushed back. I believe this entire situation highlights the complex social and political relationships of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. If hypothetically Scotland did vote in favor of independence, the implications would be massive. The most readily obvious one may be the fact that Scotland wouldn’t be able to use the British pound as its main currency. They would either have to create their own, or more likely utilize the Euro.
When doing business in the UK, it is important to respect the relationships these separate entities have with each other, as well as recognize the sensitivity of some of these issues. Regardless, it’s hard to beat the view.