Sainsbury’s outgoing chief executive Justin King has cautioned food prices could rise in an independent Scotland.

King has joined rivals Asda and Morrisons’ chiefs in voicing concerns about the greater cost of doing business in Scotland and the potential impact on the price of groceries, the Financial Times reported.

King said: “Once it is a separate country, we and other retailers will take a view of what the cost structure is of that industry, and of course the revenue structure too.

“If you were to strike that today, there is no doubt Scotland is a more costly country [in which] to run a grocery retail business.”

Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said last year that an independent Scotland “could result in Scotland being a less attractive investment proposition for business, and put further pressure on our costs”.

Morrisons boss Dalton Philips said increased costs could “potentially have to be passed through to consumer pricing”.

He said: “Why should the English and Welsh consumer subsidise this increased cost of doing business in Scotland?”

A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country will take place in September.