Scottish businesses do more internal UK trade than any other part of the country, new figures have revealed.
In the last 12 months, 53.6% of Scottish firms said they had sold goods or services to customers in other UK nations.
That compares to the UK average of 35.7%, and is higher than Wales, Northern Ireland and every region of England.
Pro-UK organisation Scotland in Union said the statistics emphasised the importance of seamless trade with the rest of the UK for Scottish jobs and the economy.
The figures were revealed in the Office for National Statistics’ Business Insights and Conditions Survey.
They asked 1,097 Scottish businesses about their trading practices for the last year to October.
In total, 9,740 UK firms were surveyed throughout October.
In all, 53.6% of Scottish businesses said they “sold goods or services to customers in other UK nations”.
The 36.4% who did not is also the lowest rate for any part of the UK, while 10% said they were unsure.
In comparison, 49.4% of Northern Irish businesses did cross-UK trade, while the total for England was just 35%.
The survey also found that 55.4% of Scottish businesses “did not experience any challenges” in exporting their goods to the rest of the UK.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“These figures show just how important the market in the rest of the UK is to Scottish businesses.
“That free, seamless trade is vital to jobs, growth, prosperity and opportunity and must be protected.
“The statistics also reveal that huge numbers of businesses across the UK also benefit from this market.
“However, the SNP would rip Scotland out of that market, immediately putting up obstacles for trade.
“The nationalists have absolutely no answer to how they would address this, and that’s something which concerns businesses of all sizes in Scotland.
“As these numbers show, Scotland is a central part of the UK and the benefits go both ways.
“The SNP-Green government’s selfish and dangerous plans would place our economy in serious jeopardy.”
The figures were revealed in the Office for National Statistics’ Business Insight and Conditions Survey, Wave 68 edition.
The key file can be accessed on table 64 – Intra-UK trade.
It shows the following answered Yes to the question: In the last 12 months, has your business sold goods or services to customers in other UK nations?
Scotland – 53.6 per cent
Northern Ireland – 49.4 per cent
Wales – 53.2 per cent
England – 35 per cent
South West – 42.1 per cent
South East – 39 per cent
London – 35.9 per cent
East of England – 39 per cent
West Midlands – 47.2 per cent
East Midlands – 44 per cent
Yorkshire and the Humber – 46.5 per cent
North West – 48.3 per cent
North East – 48.3 per cent
UK – 35.7 per cent