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SNP accused of threatening anti-independence businesses

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Makers of an episode of Channel 4’s Dispatches, which will air tonight, said they had been spoken to 19 businesses who were aware of threats of “retribution down the track” for those who opposed independence. 

Gavin Hewitt, the former chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, told Chanel 4 that he or his senior staff had met with Angus Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster, on at least six occasions over the past two years.

“He and the SNP have regularly tried to get the message to the Scotch Whisky Association that the Scotch whisky industry should stay out of the independence debate,” Hewitt told the programme.

“He was, I think, trying to neuter business comment. There was a genuine fear that in fact if we were seen to scupper by coming out publicly against independence, there would be retribution down the track. “

The Scottish Government told Dispatches that the claims were “utterly false.”

The programme also examines claims that the UK Government used misleading figures to exaggerate the costs of independence. 

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