Comment ahead of the publication of the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures, due to be published this morning at 09:30.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:

“These official SNP government figures will give an accurate picture of an independent Scotland on day one.

“The SNP must accept the economic reality of leaving the UK.

“The UK is a country where resources are pooled and shared, ensuring that tax shortfalls in Scotland or other parts of the UK do not amount to sudden spending cuts to hospitals and schools. That is the UK dividend for every family which the SNP wants to take away.

“But the size of Scotland’s deficit is also important, because at its current level a separate Scotland wouldn’t be able to meet EU criteria for new members without making drastic public service cuts and increasing taxes.

“It’s time for the SNP to come clean with the people of Scotland and acknowledge we are stronger as part of the UK.”