Scots companies give overwhelming thumbs-down to independence

SCOTTISH businesses have issued a stark rejection of the benefits of independence, according to a survey published last night.

In the poll, by Business Insider magazine, more than 100 firms were asked anonymously whether independence would be good for business. Only 5 per cent said yes, while 67 per cent said no. A further 12 per cent said it would have no effect, while 17 per cent said they did not know.

The survey also revealed widespread scepticism about plans by UK ministers to hand more income tax-varying powers to the Scottish Government. Only 17 per cent thought it would be good for business, while 60 per cent believed it would cause harm.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray said: “This survey shows businesses massively reject Scotland becoming a separate country and breaking away from the rest of Britain.”

But a spokesman for finance secretary John Swinney said: “Rather than an anonymous survey, Scotland’s leading business person and entrepreneur Jim McColl has said on the record that many people in business are convinced that a productive and prosperous future for Scotland depends on securing real economic powers for the parliament through constitutional change.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s Lord Robertson, a former secretary-general of Nato, said the SNP’s opposition to joining the defence alliance would be a “recipe for Scotland’s marginalisation and job destruction”.