Scottish Business Leaders Reject Independence
An open letter to the people of Scotland from 130 business leaders has urged them to ensure the country can "keep flourishing" within the UK.
Ahead of the independence referendum on September 18 the signatories, including Weir Group chief executive Keith Cochrane - who organised the letter - and Co-op Bank boss Niall Booker, argue the business case for independence "has not been made".
In the letter - signed by each in a "personal capacity" and published after the last of the televised debates between the leaders of the Yes and No camps - they state: "As job creators, we have looked carefully at the arguments made by both sides of the debate.
"Our conclusion is that the business case for independence has not been made.
"Uncertainty surrounds a number of vital issues including currency, regulation, tax, pensions, EU membership and support for our exports around the world - and uncertainty is bad for business".
The comments echo the sentiments expressed in an interview with Sky News on Tuesday by the chief executive of the world's largest advertising firm WPP, Sir Martin Sorrell.
The open letter, which also contained signatures from Victor Chavez of Thales UK, Ian Curle of Famous Grouse producer The Edrington Group and Douglas Flint, group chairman of HSBC Holdings, warned that much was at stake.
It said: "Our economic ties inside the United Kingdom are very close and support almost one million Scottish jobs.
"The rest of the UK is Scotland's biggest market by far.
"Today Scotland's economy is growing. We are attracting record investment and the employment rate is high.
"We should be proud that Scotland is a great place to build businesses and create jobs - success that has been achieved as an integral part of the United Kingdom.
"The United Kingdom gives business the strong platform we must have to invest in jobs and industry. By all continuing to work together, we can keep Scotland flourishing."
Mr Cochrane told Sky News the letter expressed a "deep frustration" within the Scottish business community that there had been a lack of clear answers from the Yes campaign to some basic economic questions.
The other side of the debate also has powerful supporters, with former RBS chairman Sir George Mathewson among them.
He had previously written that warnings that the size of Scotland's banking system would make independence impossible were "unionist scaremongering".
Business for Scotland, a pro-independence network, responded to the letter by insisting its 2,500 supporters had made informed opinions.
Its statement said: "It's a position reached after looking at the facts and figures and realising that, from a simple balance sheet point of view as well as other considerations, our best interests lie in becoming an independent country."