Scottish business leaders voice independence doubts

A group of more than 130 Scottish businesses have signed a letter openly critical of the Yes campaign for Scottish independence, warning that the business case for such a move ‘has not been made’.

A broad swathe of sectors from banking, mining, engineering and food to whisky and technology were represented by the signatories, who published their case in an open letter in the Scotsman.

Amongst those to have put their name to the document are some household names; including Audrey Baxter of Baxter Food Group, HSBC chairman Douglas Flint and and Andrew Mackenzie, chief executive of mining giant BHP Billiton.

Others to lend their weight behind the Better Together campaign group include William Haughey of City Refrigeration; Peter Gordon, director of William Grant and Sons; Archie Bethel CBE, divisional chief executive of Babcock; and Ian Marchant, former chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy.

The note, organised by Keith Cochrane, chief executive of engineering giant the Weir Group, read: “Our economic ties inside the United Kingdom are very close and support more than a million Scottish jobs.

“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."

Responding to the initiative independence supporters were quick to point to their own backers within the business community including Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways owner IAG and Sir Donald MacKay, former head of Scottish Enterprise.