Scottish independence: Union goes with grain of history, says Tony Blair
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has said Scotland's political union with the rest of the UK "goes with the grain of history".
He told an audience in Edinburgh it was wrong to advocate independence by putting the blame for problems on others.
Mr Blair also warned against "retreating into something smaller".
The SNP replied that the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion made a strong case for independence.
Scotland's SNP-controlled government is staging an independence referendum in autumn 2014.
Speaking at the National Association of Pension Funds conference, Mr Blair said: "I feel about Britain separating out from Europe the way, frankly, as we are here in Edinburgh in Scotland, the way I feel about Scotland separating from the UK."
He suggested that both the UK Independence Party and the Scottish National Party suggest the problems of the country "are someone else" and that "the cure is separating ourselves out from that someone else".
Mr Blair, who left Downing Street in 2007 after 10 years in office, said this view was misguided and was "neither the cause, or the cure".
'Single biggest market'
End Quote Tony Blair
You can be sure the future is in being part of something bigger and not retreating into something smaller”
"The fact is, in a world that is ever more interconnected, to disconnect yourself, either Scotland from the UK or Britain from Europe, is just not sensible because many of the challenges we face are the challenges you are going to have to face together, you are going to have to get solutions together," he said.
"I think ultimately, for Scotland, being part of the UK is in Scottish interests, it is in English interests, it is in the interests of the UK as a whole, because it goes with the grain of history.
"When you have got the single biggest commercial market on your doorstep, why on earth would you separate yourself off from that - however frustrating it is?
"You should be in there to try and win the battles, build the alliances and make the thing work because you can be sure the future is in being part of something bigger and not retreating into something smaller."
Responding to the speech, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie MSP, said: "This is a good development for the 'yes' campaign, because the 10th anniversary of Tony Blair's invasion of Iraq on false pretences is a compelling illustration of the need for Scotland's parliament to have the full powers of independence.
"Scotland needs a parliament with the ability to speak with our own voice in the world, get rid of nuclear weapons and build a fair society and strong economy.
"That is why we need an independent Scotland - and the more often Tory Blair argues for 'no', the stronger the 'yes' vote will become."