More than 160 business leaders – including Aberdeen Lord Provost Barney Crockett – have co-signed an open letter calling on the Scottish Government to rule out plans for a second independence referendum to “break up the UK”.
The campaign is being co-ordinated by business group Scottish Business UK (SBUK).
The letter argues that the recent election sent a “clear and unambiguous message” that the new Scottish Government was “voted into power to steer the country through the Covid-19 crisis”.
It adds: “A divisive and distracting referendum on separation would put any chance of sustaining economic recovery at risk.
“This is not the time to be throwing into question our economic ties to the rest of the United Kingdom, which has guaranteed the survival of thousands of Scottish jobs through the pandemic and remains Scotland’s biggest market by far.”
Struan Stevenson, the former Conservative MEP and chief executive of the group, said: “The support received for this letter shows that business leaders in Scotland are of the same opinion that plans for a referendum are a huge distraction from the task at hand.
“The Scottish Government needs to listen and stop trying to position the election result as a pretext for breaking up the UK, which is by far Scotland’s biggest market.”
Other signatories include Jim Milne, chairman of Balmoral Group; former Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Amanda Harvie; and Robert Kilgour, chairman of care home group Renaissance Care and SBUK.