To begin with, the assertion that an independent Scotland would “withdraw from NATO” is quite wrong. The Scottish National Party voted this year for an independent Scotland to continue in NATO membership. Independence will certainly mean an end to the stationing of nuclear weapons in Scotland, that is true, but this will merely put Scotland in the same non-nuclear category as 25 of the alliance’s current 28 members.
The claim that an independent Scotland would be “unable to contribute meaningfully to global security” also is untrue. Would the same be said of European nations such as Norway, smaller than Scotland, or Denmark, almost identical in size? As it happens, these two countries combined flew more air sorties in the internationally sanctioned action in Libya than did the United Kingdom.
Further, the assertion that London might veto independent Scottish membership of the European Union and its use of the pound as a currency is not borne out by the facts. The recent Edinburgh Agreement, signed by myself and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, commits both our governments to respect the referendum and to implement the outcome, whatever the result.
And it is likely that any London government would be keen to see an independent Scotland continue to use the pound, given the large sums that Scottish sources — not least North Sea oil and gas, the vast majority of which lies in our territorial waters — make to that currency’s balance of payments.
Scotland and the United States share close ties stretching back centuries. Many U.S. presidents trace their ancestry to Scotland, while the Declaration of Arbroath, the 14th-century document asserting Scotland’s status as an independent nation, has been held by a U.S. Senate resolution as a direct influence on the U.S. Declaration of Independence.