Break up and move on?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

The momentum behind COP26 has created an apparently benign climate for low carbon investment in the UK, however that could all change at next week’s Scottish Parliament election. The 2021 Scottish Parliament elections will be the latest in a series of public ballots, since 2014’s Scottish Referendum, where the future of the United Kingdom is at stake. Due to Brexit and COVID19 it has perhaps been understated how important the Scottish election will be. However, depending upon its result, we could see British politics dominated by the issue of Scottish independence in the same way it was dominated by Brexit in recent years. Businesses whose investments depend on policy decisions yet to come must be mindful of this. As the question of Scottish Independence may leave politicians and officials will little time to consider anything else.

Should the SNP win a majority at next week’s Scottish elections it will re-energise its drive for Scottish independence. Independence has been the major theme of the SNPs campaign. Further the SNPs leader, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has gone on record stating that a vote for her party should be seen as a vote for another referendum. She has also claimed that she does not believe Westminster could stand in the way of that mandate.[1]

Recent polls have called into question whether the SNP can win a majority. A Sevanta ComRes poll released on 29 April 2021 showed the SNP support for the SNP slipping at both Holyrood Constituency and List levels: By 1 and 2 points, respectively. Results that would see the SNP fail to win a majority next week. They also showed support for Scottish independence declining by 2 points to 42 per cent, while support for remaining in the UK increased to 49 per cent.[2]

The polling is suitably close enough that nothing can be taken for granted though. Research published on 28 April 2021 from Lord Ashcroft highlighted that: ‘those naming the nationalists as their most likely choice put their chances of actually turning out to vote for them higher than those of other parties’ potential backers.’[3] Lord Ashcroft also noted that Scots feel that their politics cannot move on with the referendum question hanging over their heads.[4] This is very similar to the approach many Brits took to the 2019 UK Parliament elections, where the message ‘Get Brexit Done’ resonated with those who simply wanted to settle the question decisively and put it behind them.

Should the SNP win a Holyrood majority business needs to significantly step-up engagement with decision makers. An SNP victory is likely to result in a major constitutional crisis, and it is very likely that deciding how to respond will consume much of the Johnson Government’s time. This would only be increased should the UK Government concede to the demand for another referendum. As we saw with the Brexit referendum, where effectively the policy process was largely paused from 2016 first to fight the referendum and then manage its fallout. Businesses that are waiting for any kind of government decision will need to act quickly and press for rapid resolutions. Otherwise, they could find the decisions they have been waiting for delayed for the foreseeable future.

BREVIA CONSULTING PROVIDES STRAIGHTFORWARD POLITICAL AND COMMUNICATIONS SUPPORT TO BUSINESSES AND ORGANISATIONS

Discover how Brevia can help you and your organisation by contacting the Brevia Energy Team on 020 7091 1650 or emailing us at: contact@brevia.co.uk

[1] Guardian, 11 April 2021, link

[2] SevantaComres, Twitter, 29 April 2021, link, link & link

[3] Lord Ashcroft Polls, 28 April 2021, link

[4] Lord Ashcroft Polls, 28 April 2021, link

LATEST NEWS

Brevia

Energy White Paper Audit

Last week Brevia Energy released the findings of its audit of the Government’s 2020 Energy White Paper. The results, which were covered by Energy Live News, highlighted how nearly half of the commitments included in the Energy White Paper have been hit or look likely to be reached. However, the research also showed that answers to the ‘Who Pays?’ question remain needed. With the Government expected to publish both its Net Zero Strategy and Heat and Buildings strategy soon, greater detail on that may be soon forthcoming. That is likely to provoke debate about the direction of policy and open new fronts for businesses to make their case about how the net zero transition should be delivered.

Read More »
Energy

At-risk suppliers have put the energy supply industry at risk

Since the beginning of August 2021, the UK has experienced a record increase in gas prices, which has grown into a retail energy crisis that has already caused ten suppliers to exit the market this year. This crisis is the product of several factors, which the UK Government will seek to remedy in the short term and avoid in the long term. This means regulatory reforms are almost inevitable. Once the crisis is over and government turns to reforming the UK’s retail energy market, businesses that operate within it must actively engage with policymakers and regulators to ensure their voices are heard.

Read More »
Energy

COP26 Update: New Energy Minister

With less than 50 days until the COP26 Summit, Brevia will be tracking the latest milestones in the UK’s preparations for the upcoming climate conference. This week the Prime Minister carried out an extensive reshuffle of his ministerial team, including a shake up at BEIS, with Greg Hands MP becoming the new Energy Minister. Other notable highlights this week include the publication of the funding details for the upcoming Contracts for Difference (CfD) Round 4 auction.

Read More »
  • Get in touch to arrange your free monitoring trial.