WARNINGS from Mark Carney that pressure on the North Sea oil industry is likely to persist should serve as a warning against independence, the Scottish Tories have claimed.

Although careful not to enter the constitutional debate during his first trip to Scotland since 2014, the Governor of the Bank of England warned the challenging environment facing the crucial industry, following the oil price crash, is likely to continue for "some time".

Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Alexander Burnett said: "Fortunately, because we are part of the wider UK, we can absorb the shocks a low oil price brings to the economy. This warning from the Bank of England should be a reminder to the SNP that people will not be fooled by more oil-based fantasies about separation."

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Meanwhile, LibDem MSP Mike Rumbles said Mr Carney was right to highlight the challenges facing the North Sea. He said: "The Governor of the Bank of England is not prone to exaggeration or hyperbole. Ministers need to listen to his analysis and act on it."

SNP energy minister Paul Wheelhouse called for more action from the UK Government to support the industry, but insisted "significant opportunities remain". He added: "We in the Scottish Government continue to do all we can to support the industry."