UK Government claims that mobile phone bills could rise under Scottish independence has been branded "silly" by a senior Tory MSP.

West Scotland MSP Jackson Carlaw, deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, made the comment ahead of a Coalition paper on communications which will warn Scottish consumers may have to pay more if they use their phones south of the Border.

The SNP also seized on what it called an own goal, pointing out that from Monday the EU will cap the roaming charges which can drive up bills when phones are taken to other European countries.

The price cap on downloading data means looking at maps, checking emails and sending pictures while travelling in EU countries will be 36% cheaper, and 91% cheaper compared to 2007.

Euro leaders want differences between national and roaming charges to approach zero by 2015.

Reacting on social networking site Twitter, Mr Carlaw wrote: "Some of the arguments against indy are becoming a bit silly."

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined in: "All scare campaigns eventually become ridiculous. I think the mobile phone story marks the moment this happened to project fear."