BREXIT campaigners are to target pro-Union donors for funds by arguing an Out vote in Scotland would set back the cause of Scottish independence.

The Business for Britain group, part of the Vote Leave campaign, says it plans to approach donors to Better Together in order to frustrate the SNP.

Nicola Sturgeon has said that if Scotland votes to remain in the EU on June 23, but the UK votes overall to leave, momentum for a second independence referendum could well prove irresistible.

Renfrewshire businessman Alastair MacMillan, Scottish chair of Business for Britain, said the best way to avoid that scenario was for Scotland to vote to leave the EU as well.

He said: “It is essential that there is a majority to vote Leave in Scotland. Other than financial restrictions, we see no reason why we can’t win in Scotland.”

MacMillan, founder of hydraulic pump firm White House Products, already has contacts in Better Together, having welcomed chair Alistair Darling to his Port Glasgow base in 2014.

At the time, MacMillan warned Scotland leaving the UK would end “unrestricted access to a home market of 63m people” - the EU is a market of 500m people.

A spokesman for Scotland Stronger in Europe said: “This campaign seems more concerned with party and constitutional politics in Scotland than debate about our place in Europe.”

Ironically, former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars is also campaigning for a No vote, but on the grounds it would further the cause of Scottish independence.