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Independence: ‘Neutral’ universities to quit CBI

University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

BY SCOTT MACNAB

Three of Scotland’s oldest universities have today announced they are quitting business organisation CBI over its support for the No campaign in the referendum.

The Universities of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh say they are pulling out because they must be seen to have a “strictly neutral position” on the constitutional debate.

They could be joined by Dundee University and Glasgow Caledonian University which are to consider their positions later this week.

Broadcaster STV and Government agencies STV have already announced they would be leaving the CBI after it announced it would be registering as a formal supporter of the No campaign in the independence debate.

The head of the CBI, John Cridland today expressed “considerable regret” at the withdrawal of organisations from the body over its controversial decision on Friday.

A spokesman for the University of Glasgow said today: “As an institution we have a strictly neutral position on the independence debate.

“We have carefully considered the decision of CBI Scotland to register with the Electoral Commission and decided that in order to maintain our impartiality we must resign our membership forthwith.”

A spokeswoman for Aberdeen University said it does not take a position on independence.

“In light of the position taken by CBI Scotland the University of Aberdeen feels it is inappropriate to continue our membership of this body,” she said.

“The University of Aberdeen does not take an institutional position on the constitutional future of Scotland. We believe that the role of a university is to inform the public debate through the contribution of its academic and research expertise.

“Whatever the people of Scotland decide in this autumn’s referendum, the university will continue its ambitious mission to be counted among the world’s top institutions of learning and research.”  (The Scotsman)

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