By Jonathan Davies

More than 130 business managers have signed an open letter saying that the business case for Scottish independence "has not been made".

The letter is signed by businesses from a wide variety of industries and include signatures of managers from big, multi-national companies, right down to small business owners.

The letter is signed by business leaders including Douglas Flint, the chairman of HSBC; Andrew Mackenzie, the chief executive of the mining giant, BHP Billiton; and Sir John Grant, executive vice-president of policy at the energy company, BG Group.

It comes with less than a month until the Scottish public votes either 'Yes' or 'No' on the question "Should Scotland be an independent country?", and after an opinion poll which showed that Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond beat Alistair Darling, leader of the Better Together campaign, in the second and final television debate.

The letter, published in The Scotsman newspaper, said: "Our economic ties inside the United Kingdom are very close and support more than a million Scottish jobs.

"As job creators we have looked carefully at the arguments made by both sides of the debate.

"Our conclusion is that the business case for independence has not been made."

Uncertainty over such aspects as currency, tax and EU membership are still a big worry for businesses.

Business for Scotland, a lobby group supporting independence, said in a statement: "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.

"It's a position reached after looking at the facts and figures and realising that, from a simple balance sheet point of view as well as other considerations, our best interests lie in becoming an independent country."

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