THE BOSS of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in Scotland, Iain McMillan, is stepping down.
The news comes just days after the business lobby group was forced to announce an embarrassing U-turn regarding its decision to register as part of the no campaign in the Scottish referendum vote.
The decision to register with the Electoral Commission caused a number of high profile members of the CBI to terminate their contracts with the group last week.
Speaking about the resignation, a CBI spokesperson said McMillan’s resignation had nothing to do with the fallout from the Scottish referendum decision.
“Mr McMillan signalled his intention to retire early two years ago. He agreed a timetable for his departure with our HR team in January and is planning to retire towards the end of 2014,” they said.
The CBI approached the Electoral Commission last Friday and asked for its application to join the no campaign to be withdrawn. Director general John Cridland said: “The CBI is politically independent and impartial. Although the decision to register with the Electoral Commission was taken in good faith, in order to carry out normal activities during the referendum period, it has inadvertently given the impression that the CBI is a political entity – we are not and never will be.”
The fallout comes as UK foreign secretary William Hague sent a letter to Scottish first minister Alex Salmond, advising him to seek clarification over how EU membership would work for an independent Scotland.
“The terms of EU membership which your government has said it will seek to secure for an independent Scotland are at odds with the EU’s own rules of membership,” Hague writes, adding: “Your forthcoming trip to Brussels should be an opportunity to seek clarity on a number of key issues.”
In response, Salmond highlighted recent polls which have shown support for a united Scotland and UK slipping away.