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More CBI members to resign as No vote row escalates

THE CBI faces the prospect of further resignations from businesses and public bodies as the row over its decision to formally register as a No supporter in the independence referendum continues to escalate.

Glasgow Caledonian University's executive board is due to consider the CBI's position when it meets tomorrow. In a statement issued yesterday the university said it remained committed to its neutral stance ahead of September's vote.

Two Scottish Government agencies, Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland, as well as broadcaster STV, the Balhousie Care Group and energy company Aquamarine Power have all quit the CBI in recent days.

The Scottish Government said it was now inappropriate for public agencies to remain part of the leading business organisation and called on them to resign with immediate effect.

On Friday it emerged CBI Scotland had registered with the Electoral Commission as a No supporter. The move is necessary for those planning to spend more than £10,000 on campaigns during the referendum period, but also allows access to the electoral register and for representatives to attend polling stations and vote counts.

Critics say the CBI's stance does not represent the views of many of its members and it failed to consult them before it made the decision. However, a CBI spokesman said ­Scotland and the rest of the UK were "stronger together as part of the Union" and its decision did reflect the "vast majority" of members.

In a statement, Glasgow Caledonian University said it would continue to maintain its neutral stance, adding: "GCU notes the CBI's position which will be considered by the university's executive board on Tuesday."

Tony Banks, chairman of the Balhousie Care Group and leader of the pro-independence group Business for Scotland, wrote to the CBI yesterday giving his firm's formal resignation. In the letter he said: "This is not the action of an organisation in touch with the interests of its membership."

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