His warning came ahead of a meeting with small and medium-sized businesses in East Dunbartonshire. It follows suggestions by the Federation of Small Businesses that Scottish members consider registering offices south of the Border in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote in September.
Mr Cable said: “One of the many positive things about a shared system of tax and regulation is that large and small businesses benefit from a single set of regulation which operates right across the UK family of nations. It doesn’t matter where you are in the UK, the same rules apply.”
East Dunbartonshire MP and business minister Jo Swinson MP added: “The rest of the UK is Scotland’s biggest market. Making it more difficult for our businesses to sell their goods south of the border by doubling up on regulations would not be in the best interests of Scottish companies.
“By increasing the cost of regulation and making it more difficult to trade with the rest of the UK, the SNP’s plans risk hitting small businesses with a double-whammy that could cost jobs.”
But the Scottish Government said the biggest threat to Scottish business was the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union should a referendum take place in 2017.
A spokesman for SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The only threat to Scotland’s access to a shared single market of more than half a billion people is the proposal from the Tory Westminster Government which the Lib Dems prop up to have a referendum which risks dragging Scotland out of Europe against our will, with potentially devastating consequences for jobs and investment.
“The only way to protect Scotland’s place in Europe, and the economic strength it secures, is to vote Yes in September.”