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Firms call on Scotland to stay in UK

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 02:01

More than 100 business leaders have spoken out against Scottish independence saying the business case for independence has not been made. Joanna Partridge looks at their reasons for going public just three weeks ahead of the vote.

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Coming out against Scottish independence. From Andrew Mackenzie, the CEO of miner BHP Billiton, to the boss of Harris Tweed, and the chief executive of Co-operative Bank. They've joined over 100 other business leaders and signed an open letter, published in the Scotsman newspaper. The mass declaration was organised by the boss of the Glasgow-based engineer Weir Group. They say the pro-independence camp haven't made the business case for going it alone. The letter also says there's uncertainty about issues like currency, regulation, tax, pensions and EU membership. That's a big problem says David Buik from Panmure Gordon. SOUNDBITE: David Buik, Panmure Gordon, saying (English): "There is insufficient support from business, industry and commerce which are the main employers and also from the governments for the fact that they are so reliant in terms of jobs from the civil service and the defence industry. It would be absolute economic suicide for Scotland not to remain in the United Kingdom." They're not the first businesses to speak out - either way - on independence. And of course some companies are in the Yes camp. Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways' parent IAG has previously said independence could help BA - as the Scottish government would reduce or scrap air passenger duty. Ryanair's boss Michael O'Leary also supports the Scottish government view. And the Royal Bank of Scotland's CEO has said the lender could adapt if Scotland left the union. The business leaders' letter comes hot on the heels of Alistair Darling's failure to beat Alex Salmond in the second TV debate. The No vote is still leading in the polls but his campaign continues. He appeared with his fellow Scot, former British prime minister Gordon Brown. Both sides have three weeks to convince any undecided voters. But some are about to make their choice. Ballots are already on their way to the hundreds of thousands of Scots who've opted to vote by post on September 18.

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Firms call on Scotland to stay in UK

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 02:01