ONE of the world's top chefs has declared his support for Scottish independence.

Albert Roux OBE, who runs five restaurants in Scotland, is among 40 leading members of the Scottish food and drink industry to put his name to a letter published in The Herald today, which sets out five key opportunities for the sector in the event of a Yes vote.

Andrew Fairlie, whose restaurant at the Gleneagles Hotel has two Michelin stars and will be hosting the Ryder Cup later this month, has also signed the letter, along with Graeme Cheevers, head chef at Restaurant Martin Wishart, Dennis Overton OBE of Ardtornish Estate, Morvern, and Neil Clapperton, MD of Springbank Distillery, Campbelltown.

The letter states the belief growing the Scots food and drink sector, which has a turnover of almost £14bn, will be a greater priority for an independent Scottish government than for a UK government. Chef Roux said: "As far as the food industry is concerned I think Scotland would be better with a Yes.

"I am deeply fond of Scotland and have spent a lot of time in Scotland since the 1970s, now with several businesses. Scotland is a nation with world-class produce which I have been proud to promote, and I think independence could offer more opportunities to promote these wonderful things."

Earlier this year chef Roux told The Herald he thought the Westminster government was lamentable in promoting Scotland, and that the Scottish Government was doing a much better job.

Fairlie, a Yes Scotland board member, welcomed chef Roux's support. He said: "He has never missed the opportunity to champion Scotland and knows the opportunities that lie ahead with powers of independence."