The UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space trade organisation, ADS Group, has expressed its concerns about the uncertainties and risks associated with the outcome of the Scottish Referendum on the global competitiveness of companies across the UK.

The aerospace, defence, security and space sectors make a valuable contribution to the UK economy, employing hundreds of thousands of skilled engineers, manufacturers and support staff and supporting an extensive and mature supply chain. Together, these sectors deliver billions of pounds worth of exports each year, helping the UK rebalance its economy through innovation and a high-tech export-led growth strategy.

The uncertain outcome and timetable for negotiations on a range of important financial, regulatory and international relationships is a cause of concern for many businesses operating within or trading with the UK. This could affect export opportunities and inward investment and impact the UK’s international influence and global competitiveness.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of aerospace and defence trade organisation, ADS Group said: “ADS members in the UK aerospace, defence, security and space industries benefit from the stability, strength and scale of the whole of the UK. September’s Referendum on the future of Scotland could have a profound impact on these sectors’ global competitiveness. ADS believes such economic risks and long-lasting consequences are a legitimate part of the pre-Referendum debate.

“In addition to the debates about monetary and fiscal policy, there is genuine uncertainty about the impact of independence on the UK’s – and Scotland’s – international influence, export opportunities and inward investment. Companies are concerned about the costs and consequences negotiation and transition arrangements might have on procurement budgets, mature supply chains and highly-skilled workforces.”

Recent data shows that the global commercial aerospace market grew by more than a quarter (28%) in 2013 with the UK holding 17% of the global market share. Meanwhile, the UK is the second largest exporter of defence equipment and services in the world, after the US.