Aug 27 More than 100 business leaders spoke out
against Scottish independence saying the business case for
independence has not been made, the biggest intervention by the
United Kingdom's business community in the referendum debate so
Voters will decide next month whether Scotland, which has a
population of just over 5 million and is a source of North Sea
oil, should end its 307-year-old union with England and leave
the United Kingdom.
In a statement heads of some of the United Kingdom's biggest
companies said the outcome of the historic Sept. 18 referendum
would affect generations to come.
"As job creators, we have looked carefully at the arguments
made by both sides of the debate," the letter states. "Our
conclusion is that the business case for independence has not
The letter also says there is uncertainty surrounding issues
such as currency, regulation, tax, pensions, EU membership and
support for exports.
Executives lending their names to the statement include
Andrew Mackenzie, chief executive officer of BHP Billiton Plc
; Douglas Flint, group chairman of HSBC Holdings Plc
; Simon Thomson, CEO of Cairn Energy Plc and
Angus Cockburn, interim CEO of Aggreko Plc.
All signatories have signed the letter in their personal
The open letter organised by Keith Cochrane, chief executive
of Glasgow-based engineer Weir Group Plc, is likely to
be a huge shot in the arm for the British government's "Better
So far, most businesses in the United Kingdom have refrained
from making public comments as their workforces are divided on
the issue of independence for Scotland.
If Scotland, with its $250 billion (150 billion pound)
economy, 5.2 million people, oil industry, and nuclear submarine
base, leaves Britain, with its $2.5 trillion economy and 63
million people, the consequences would be profound.
Britain's three main political parties want it to stay in
the union, which includes England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
(Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa