Scottish independence would be "cataclysmic" for the West and would be celebrated by Britain's enemies, according to the former secretary general of Nato, Lord Robertson.
Speaking at the Brookings Institute, Lord Robertson said global stability could be threatened by a "debilitating divorce" between the UK and Scotland.
Taking the debate over independence well beyond the shores of the UK, Robertson urged Britain's allies to speak out against Scottish independence telling the audience, "this is not a purely domestic matter, even though it's a decision that will be taken by the Scottish people."
The former Labour politician warned that the decision to be taken by the Scottish people later this year would affect not only them but generations yet to come and those overseas had every right to make their voices heard.
However, a spokesman for Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond hit back, arguing that an independent Scotland would make a positive contribution to the world and that "It is disappointing but not surprising that Lord Robertson fails to recognise any of that in this crass and offensive speech."