Keeping Scotland in the UK is "crucial" for the economy of the Highlands, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has said.
Danny Alexander spoke out as he joined up with former chancellor Alistair Darling to campaign against independence.
The two politicians met business leaders in the Highlands to hear their views ahead of next year's referendum.
Afterwards, Mr Alexander, MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, said: "Alistair Darling is leading a very positive campaign for the continuation of the UK which I believe is crucial to the future economic wellbeing of the Highlands.
"The people of Scotland need to hear all the facts if we are to make an informed decision in 2014."
Mr Darling, chair of the cross-party Better Together campaign, said that at the moment companies across the Highlands could sell their goods to the rest of the UK "without having to worry about barriers".
He argued: "At a time where people are finding things tough, why would you make it more difficult to trade with our nearest neighbours, not looking to turn them into our closest competitors."
The former chancellor said: "This is the second time that I have been in Inverness in the past month. I have been struck by the strength of feeling of the people I have met and hugely encouraged by the support our campaign has received.
"We will be campaigning in Inverness and across the region for the next 18 months.
"Our message is that we are stronger when we work together. I am confident that we can win the arguments and win the referendum."