NEARLY three-quarters of business leaders in Scotland believe Brexit will increase the likelihood of Scottish independence. And a similar amount think Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not handled the process of the UK exiting the EU well.

A survey of delegates at this week’s IoD (Institute of Directors) Scotland conference found 74% said "yes" when asked if Brexit will increase the chances of independence. And 75% responded “no” when asked if Johnson has handled Brexit well.

The IoD Scotland conference is one of the highest-profile events in the Scottish business calendar. Ninety attendees responded to the survey, with questions set by The Herald. The results came with campaigning for next month’s General Election now in full swing.

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Malcolm Cannon, national director of IoD Scotland, said: “The impact that politics can have on the business world has never been more evident than right now. While business leaders must guarantee to their employees, customers and stakeholders that business as usual continues, as broader political distractions continue to arise, certainty has never seemed further away.

“Results of research conducted with our members at the IoD Scotland Annual Conference is clear – how Brexit has been handled in London will have a direct impact on the future of Scotland. Whether this will become the tipping point for the country becoming an independent nation, only time will tell. However, given the unpredictability of government over the last three years, it’s vital that business leaders take nothing for granted.”