Scottish Independence by CBI Leads to University and Exodus
Scottish Independence by CBI Leads to University and ExodusReuters

The Confederation of British Industry's registration to campaign against Scottish independence has led to three of the country's oldest and most prestigious universities to cancel their memberships.

Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow said in a statement that the CBI's official stance to rally against an independent Scotland forces them to leave because they want to remain neutral when Scots vote in the referendum on 18 September.

"We are all in uncharted waters and recognise and respect that difficult decisions may need to be taken," said CBI Director General John Cridland in a statement, in response to the exit.

"We have a clearly stated position that Scotland and the rest of the UK are stronger together on economic grounds as part of the union and this reflects the views of the vast majority of our members."

The academic institutions are the latest in a line of groups that have cancelled their membership to CBI said it wants to spend at least £10,000 (€12,000, $17,000) on the 'No' campaign when the referendum period starts on 30 May.

Registering to campaign allows the group to spend up to £150,000 on the cause.

Scottish firms Aquamarine Power and the Balhousie Care Group announced that they are leaving the group.

Other members who left the group include Scottish Enterprise, Visit Scotland and broadcaster STV.

"I regret any CBI member leaving. That is a matter of considerable regret to me as chief executive. But I respect the fact that there are a variety of views," said Cridland at the time.

"Nothing changed this weekend about CBI's position on the issue. All that changed is that for compliance reasons, we decided that we needed to register to be on the right side of those regulations."

Growing Support for 'Yes Campaign'

The number of Scots that want to breakaway from the UK has grown in strength as the latest poll shows that the gap between the 'Yes' and the 'No' vote is tightening.

According the the latest TNS poll, around 29% of Scots plan to vote for breaking the union when they are asked the straight "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

This is an increase of 1% from the previous month.

Scottish Independence
Alex Salmond leads the Yes CampaignReuters

There are still nearly a third of Scots that are undecided on whether they want independence or not.

CBI has consistently slammed independence after it released a number of reports that show a break in the 307-year union will severely damage both British and Scottish enterprises and economies.

Cridland said recently that the economic case for Scottish independence is yet to be made and the economies in the UK and Scotland would be stronger if they remain together.

"We are not trying to campaign to influence the Scottish voter but we are a business organisation and on the business issues - jobs in Scotland, growth in Scotland, living standards in Scotland - we have a view," the CBI director general said.

"We don't think the economic case for independence has been made and we think the economy in Scotland and the economy of the United Kingdom is stronger together."

"We are not taking actions in an election but we do have a point of view."