CLOTHING entrepreneur Richard Freedman has declared his unequivocal opposition to Scottish independence, claiming businesses would be better off if the Union was retained.

The boss of formal dress hire specialist ACS Clothing, which employs around 100 staff at Lanarkshire's Eurocentral business park, insists he sees no "compelling reason" to change Scotland's "constitutional arrangements and structure".

Mr Freedman said: "I'd much rather it stayed together. It's hard to see what the gain is that would counter-balance all the risk and uncertainty with having a schism with our main trading partner, a large supplier of our labour, a large supplier of our customers and our suppliers, and soon to be a provider of our currency.

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"It seems to be ridiculous. I really don't fancy it."

Mr Freedman also criticised the Scottish Government for watering down the concept of independence.

He said: "Although they talked before about having two questions on the ballot paper, the one that seems to be removed is independence.

"What seems to be there is devo max with a shared currency, shared monarchy, a shared defence and it feels like a lot of bother and a lot of work for no real gain.

"I think it is a huge distraction and a cause of real uncertainty and is hampering investment decisions. The sooner it is done and out of the way the better."

Asked what conditions were needed for enterprise to thrive, he called on government to provide stability and a "much easier regulatory framework for businesses to get created and to operate".