10/09/2013 08:57 BST | Updated 10/09/2013 09:00 BST

Scottish Independence Backed By More English People Than Scottish

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, right, and Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, shake hands after signing a referendum agreement during a meeting at St Andrews House in Edinburgh, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Cameron met with the leader of Scotland's separatist administration Monday to sign a deal on a referendum that could break up the United Kingdom. Officials from London and Edinburgh have been meeting for weeks to hammer out details of a vote on Scottish independence. Sticking points in

Scottish independence has greater support in England than in Scotland, an influential new report has found.

One in four English people (25%) back the break-up of the United Kingdom, compared to 23% of people in Scotland, according to the British Social Attitudes survey.

According to the new report, support has climbed in England for Scottish independence from 19% in 2000 to 25%. Meanwhile, support for Scottish independence has fallen to 23% in 2012, from a 30% peak in 2006.

"England has, it seems, become rather less sympathetic towards the 'demands' of its Scottish neighbour," the survey notes.

This is not the first time that research has found greater support for Scottish independence in England than north of the border. A survey last year found that 26% of Scottish voters want to break up the United Kingdom, compared to 29% in England.

The same survey suggested that 46% of Scottish voters wanted the United Kingdom to stay together, whereas only 40% in England felt the same.

Scottish voters are set to vote on the country's independence on 18 September 2014 in a referendum.

The findings come as deputy prime minister Nick Clegg told Scottish businesses to "express their views" on the future of Scotland in the United Kingdom.

"The future of devolution in Scotland must evolve in a way that enables your success too. This train is leaving the station – debate is under way,” he said.

“So now is the time for you to express your views, to shape that debate, to influence and shape a modern and successful Scotland within a strong United Kingdom."

But other business figures have not been afraid of speaking up. Last Friday, Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne, who was born in Clydebank, wrote on Twitter that if Scotland becomes independent, "the only people who will lose are Scottish people living in Scotland".