By Jonathan Davies

With less than 48 hours until Scotland heads to the polling stations to vote in the independence referendum, business lobby group the CBI and regional business leaders are appealing to Scottish voters to vote 'No' and stay part of the UK.

The heads of the CBI’s UK-wide network of 190,000 businesses have come together to make a direct appeal to the people of Scotland to stay together.

In a joint statement, the leaders from the CBI's regions and nations council network, said:

“As businesses operating in all parts of Britain, we believe that Scotland is stronger, and England, Wales and Northern Ireland are stronger, as a result of our partnership.

“We want Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom and hope you vote to do so. We believe that the prosperity of all people in the UK would be best served by Scotland remaining part of it.

“We know the last five years have been difficult for many people — both those in work and those trying to get jobs. Businesses need to and will do more to help improve living standards. But the economic recovery is now underway and keeping the United Kingdom together is the best way to grow the economy and boost jobs. That’s because we share an internal market of 64 million people, and almost 70% of Scotland’s exports are with the rest of the UK.

“The decision is rightly one for the people of Scotland to make — we hope you will vote to stay together.”

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, added:
“While the referendum is a matter for Scottish voters, the message from our members, which employ half a million people in Scotland alone, is that we want Scotland to continue to play a strong role as part of this successful union.

“We believe that Scotland staying within the UK is the best guarantee for creating jobs, driving growth and for raising living standards. We hope the people of Scotland vote to stay with us.”

John Howie, Chairman of CBI Scotland, said:
“We welcome this statement of support from businesses around the country, which recognises the essential contribution of Scotland to the Union, and the value of our social, cultural and economic partnership.

“We all want Scotland to thrive, and we believe that the best way of achieving this is for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom.”

'Yes' voters believe independence and the new powers it would bring is the only way to drive the Scottish economy forward.

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