Bill O’Neill is head of the UK investment office at UBS Wealth Management, says Yes.
Although we have a clear result in Scotland, market uncertainty has not been eliminated. As Scotland embarks on its devo-max journey, one risk has been removed, but we are still in a nebulous situation. Nevertheless, returning to business as usual does offer the UK a growth stimulus. The economy should grow strongly during the rest of the year, unemployment should fall further and wages should start to rise. This should be enough to encourage the Bank of England to be the first major central bank to raise interest rates, probably in November, particularly as the UK remains one of the fastest-growing major economies. And in the short term, it is true that we are likely to witness a small relief rally in the UK equity market during the coming days, with the stocks most heavily exposed to Scotland seeing a reduction in their risk premiums.
Nick Beecroft is senior market analyst at Saxo Capital Markets, says No.
I can see the No vote as suggesting that the economy and markets can now return to business as usual. But the result simply means an economic disaster has been avoided (certainly for Scotland, and maybe for the UK). Although the devo-max promises made by the No campaign might imply some small increase in public spending for Scotland, I can in no way see this delivering a meaningful boost to the Scottish economy. As for the UK economy, there may have been a small blip downwards in output over the last few weeks, as fears of a Yes result grew, but all that means is that we can now resume the robust growth that the UK was enjoying previously anyway. If anything, a No vote will lead to a stronger pound, which may hinder export growth. But the removal of uncertainty does bode well for long-term investment decisions, so the net effect on GDP will be small.