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Employer groups divided over Scottish independence

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Scottish employer groups are split over whether independence would help or hinder the nation's economy as the political battle to sway voters intensifies ahead of the 18 September vote.

A group of 'pro-union' Scottish employers has written an open letter to voters urging them not to choose independence. 

The letter, published in The Scotsman, is signed by business leaders claiming to represent more than 130 businesses and 50,000 employees. Signatories include former Scottish Widows director Mike Ross and John Menzies chairman Iain Napier.

It claims the group has looked at the economic arguments for independence and concluded that the "business case has not been made".

"Our economic ties inside the United Kingdom are very close and support almost one million Scottish jobs," the letter states. "The rest of the UK is Scotland's biggest market by far.

"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."

Pro-independence group Business for Scotland released a reply claiming that it's in Scotland's best financial interests to become an independent country. It added that the conclusion had been reached after looking at the "fact and figures".

"Business for Scotland has 2,500 members who run businesses in Scotland, employ people across the country in a range of industries, and all believe that Scottish independence is in the best interests of Scotland and Scottish business," the reply read.

The independence movement gained momentum this week after a snap poll suggested 71% of people believe Alex Salmond's 'Yes' campaign made a stronger economic case in the latest televised debate against Alastair Darling.