Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Organisations reconsider their stances on CBI

The Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) registration as a campaigner against Scottish independence has been nullified by the elections watchdog.

The CBI's earlier registration as a "No" supporter with the Electoral Commission saw more than a dozen of its members resign or suspend their membership.

Following the commission's decision, some have been considering their stances on the business group.


The BBC decided to suspended its CBI membership between 30 May and 18 September, but was also considering a call from the National Union of Journalists to resign immediately.

A BBC spokesman, said: "Our position remains the same and we'll form a view in due course."

University of Glasgow

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The University of Glasgow has "no current plans" to rejoin.

A spokesman, said: "Whilst we note the decision of the Electoral Commission, we have no current plans to rejoin the CBI."


The tourism agency said it would make a decision following discussions with the CBI.

A VisitScotland spokesman, said: "We have not yet had any communication from the CBI and we will not be making any decision on this matter until after a discussion with the CBI has taken place."

Robert Gordon University

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Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University (RGU) said it planned to reconsider its position after the referendum.

A spokesman said: "RGU can confirm that it is not taking any immediate steps regarding the CBI and we will review our decision to suspend our membership after the referendum in September."


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The broadcaster said it was maintaining its position until after the referendum.

A spokesman, said: "Having taken the decision to resign our membership of the CBI, we will maintain this position until after the referendum on Scottish independence when we will reconsider our position."

Aquamarine Power

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The wave energy company's chief executive, Martin McAdam, said it would consider re-joining the CBI after the referendum.

He added: "As a trade and industry body, I hope the CBI will now focus on working with members to prepare for the outcome of the independence referendum.

"Businesses have to consider both the risks and opportunities of independence and while the CBI has a clear 'No' position, they do not have a vote.

"The CBI must help members plan for a future decided by the voters in Scotland - and that means helping members prepare for the opportunities of a 'Yes' outcome."

Scottish Enterprise

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The development agency also said it would review its membership after September's referendum.

A spokesman, said: "Scottish Enterprise's decision to resign from the CBI was based on our commitment to remain impartial during the current debate.

"With that in mind, we will maintain our stated position and review post referendum."


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Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University said it would re-consider.

A spokesman, said: "The issue will be considered and a decision taken in due course."

Law Society of Scotland

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The Law Society of Scotland said the development would be "carefully considered".

A spokesman, said: "We will of course be carefully considering the CBI's recent statements and the response received from the Electoral Commission.

"In the meantime, we are focused on progressing our own substantial programme of work with respect to the independence referendum."

Balhousie Care Group

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Tony Banks, chairman and Founder of Balhousie Care Group, said the CBI would have to change its leadership before he would reconsider joining.

Mr Banks, also the chairman of pro-independence group Business For Scotland, said: "Voluntary registration or not isn't actually the issue. CBI started campaigning for one side without a resolution of its members.

"The organisation needs to go through a revamp of its governance, become more transparent and have a change in leadership before we'd consider rejoining and because they are compromised in the referendum debate that will not be until after September."

University of Aberdeen

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The University of Aberdeen will reconsider its relationship with the CBI.

A spokesman said: "We will consider our position on membership of the CBI following the nullification made by the electoral commission."

Skills Development Scotland

Skills Development Scotland has no plans to rejoin the CBI, but will rethink its position after September.

A spokesman for the skills agency said: "We will not rejoin at present and will review the position after the referendum."

University of Dundee

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The University of Dundee's management is yet to discuss the issue.

A spokesman said: "Senior management would have to make a decision and there has been no chance to meet yet."

Scottish Qualifications Authority

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As of yet, the SQA has not commented on the CBI developments.

A spokesman said: "The SQA will be making no further comment on this issue at this time."