Scottish businesses buy more goods from within the United Kingdom than any other part of Britain, underlining the importance of the UK market.
According to a government study, 49.3 per cent of Scottish firms purchased 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.
The data was published by the Office for National Statistics’ Business Insights and Conditions survey, and comes as the Scottish Government prepares to publish export figures tomorrow.
It sought the views of more than 10,000 UK firms, including 1,202 in Scotland, in the last fortnight of October.
Pro-UK campaign group Scotland in Union said the figures underlined the importance of the UK market to businesses north of the border.
They added that it made recent omissions of the importance of the UK market from Scottish Government independence papers all the more glaring.
The research shows 30.9 per cent of businesses here did not purchase goods from the rest of the UK, while a further 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).
Only Northern Ireland was more likely to buy goods from the rest of the UK, with 55.8 per cent saying they’d purchased items 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.
“But the SNP’s reckless plan to throw up barriers and impose borders would jeopardise that.
“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.”
Notes to editors:
The figures were revealed in the ONS Business Insights and Conditions Survey.
The data can be accessed on the November 2 Excel file, and then by clicking on tab 60 – ‘Intra-UK purchases’.
It shows the following results: