‘Ridiculous’ SNP shamed for ‘reckless plan’ to impose border– cut off UK imports

At least half of Scottish businesses have imported goods and services from other UK nations, new figures have indicated.

And anti-independence campaigners have seized on the data, saying it exposes the SNP’s “recklessness” in trying to “throw up barriers”.

The figures, included in the Office for National Statistics’ Business Insights and Conditions survey, indicate that Scottish firms Scottish businesses buy more goods from within the United Kingdom than any other part of Great Britain.

In total, 49.3 per cent of Scottish companies bought goods or services from suppliers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the last year.

That compares to 21.2 per cent of businesses in England buying from the intra-UK market, and 45.1 per cent in Wales.

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The statistics were published the day before the Scottish Government is due to publish export figures.

The research sought views from more than 10,000 UK firms, including 1,202 in Scotland, in the last fortnight of October.

A total of 30.9 per cent of Scottish businesses did not purchase goods from the rest of the UK, while another 19.7 per cent were unsure.

Finished goods accounted for the most items bought, with 47.3 per cent of the total. That was followed by professional services (34.2 per cent) and raw materials (29.5 per cent).

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Only Northern Ireland was more likely to buy goods from the rest of the UK, with 55.8 per cent having done so in the last 12 months.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “This is yet another piece of research which underlines the sheer importance of the UK market to Scottish businesses.

“We already know the firms here sell more products to England, Wales and Northern Ireland than they do to anywhere else in the world.

“Now we learn, in terms of buying goods and services, half of businesses benefit from that vital market too.

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“But the SNP’s reckless plan to throw up barriers and impose borders would jeopardise that.”

She added: “The nationalists don’t care that half of Scottish businesses would then have increased obstacles when it comes to buying the things they need to operate.

“These figures also expose how ridiculous it is that the SNP consistently ignores the importance of the UK market when publishing papers on independence.

“This all shows yet again why Scottish businesses are far better off being part of a successful and inter-dependent United Kingdom.”

The Scottish Government, led by First Minister Humza Yousaf, last week published its latest independence paper, setting out plans to press ahead with plans for a second referendum and rejoin the European Union.

Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson said: “A Yes vote in a referendum on that question in Scotland would begin the process of our negotiations with the UK and then, in time, with the EU.

“And, we would imagine that, that would take in the same sort of order as other countries that have joined, that’s anything between two years and five years.

“But we would be starting from a very different position.

“We’re literally the only part of the European Union that’s been taken out against our will and we’re the only part of the formerly part of the European Union that is seeking to rejoin.”

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