Scottish independence: Lord Robertson says Yes vote 'would be cataclysmic'

 

Lord Robertson says Scottish independence would have a cataclysmic impact on the wider world

The former secretary general of Nato has said that Scottish independence would be cataclysmic for the West in an era of international turmoil.

Speaking in the US, Lord Robertson said a "debilitating divorce" after a "Yes" vote in September would threaten the stability of the wider world.

He said he believed the US administration was worried about the possibility of Scottish independence.

The Scottish government said the comments were "crass and offensive".

Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was "shocked" by the language of the former Labour defence secretary.

Start Quote

For the second military power in the west to shatter this year would be cataclysmic in geo-political terms”

End Quote Lord Robertson Former secretary general of Nato

Lord Roberston was speaking at the Brookings Institution where he said the US should make its views public - as should all British allies.

In a strongly-worded speech, he said: "The loudest cheers for the break-up of Britain would be from our adversaries and from our enemies.

"For the second military power in the west to shatter this year would be cataclysmic in geo-political terms."

He went on to urge "Britain's allies" to speak out and to say that an independent Scotland would "affect them as well".

Lord Robertson added: "This is not a purely domestic matter even though it's a decision that will be taken by the Scottish people.

"The Scottish people need to be conscious that they are taking a decision, not just for themselves and for future generations in a one-off vote, but that it also has an effect elsewhere and people who are affected, or think they will be affected, have every right to speak out."

In response to the comments, Ms Sturgeon said that given Lord Robertson's "long-standing" opposition to independence, she was not surprised.

However, she added: "On another level though I am quite shocked at these comments.

'Deeply insulting'

She went on: "The contribution George Robertson made last night, and particularly the language he has used to make it in, I think does a real disservice to the debate.

"I am not shouting down George Robertson, I am saying very clearly that I find his comments deeply insulting.

"He is of course the man that predicted that devolution would kill the SNP stone dead, so his predictions perhaps don't hold too much water."

Ms Sturgeon said she wanted to have a rational debate.

In a plea to the former politician, she said: "I'm not the person using language like cataclysmic and suggesting that independence would aid the forces of darkness.

"I would invite George Robertson to come back into the realms of decent and rational debate, because that is the kind of debate we should be having."

 

More on This Story

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1956.

    1949.toorie
    "Oddly enough I'm a Scot who has been married to my English wife for 37 yrs..."

    Really? Who cares. The vitriol you refer to comes from the divisiveness of nationalist politics. Nationalism is a disease that feeds off negativity, poverty and the weak-minded. It truly is a horrible thing and Scotland will choose to eradicate it once and for all this year.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1955.

    Last year, Alex Salmond met with the Premier of the Canadian Province of Quebec, the separatist Pauline Marois. Monday night, the voters of Quebec booted her and her party out of office. It was the worst defeat in 44 years for the separatists. Bottom line, it's all about jobs and the economy Mr. Salmond not about empty platitudes of Scotland being a "great nation."

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1954.

    1946. Andy
    Aye talk aboot running in circles and another nail in the coffin?
    A certain ex-dep speaker CON MP is in court tomorrow accused of allegedly raping a man INSIDE the House of Commons.
    The sooner SCOTLAND gets out of this satanic ceespit the bettter
    Vote YES!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1953.

    AlexiF 1950 1931.Civgw, - Alex the problem is that for decades now some Scots have seen the oil as the pot at the end of the rainbow and cannot now believe that others do not also see it in the same light!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1952.

    1945.

    Oddly, incorrect. Turnout: 50.4%. Percentage of votes: 44/45% (comparing constituency and regional votes) What they got was a majority of seats, without the majority of votes (about 23% of the electorate).

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps/29398.aspx

    Tables 2 and 3.

 

Comments 5 of 1956

 

More Scotland politics stories

RSS

Scotland Live

  1.  
    From the Twittersphere... 07:30:

    Social media went wild before, during and after the opening ceremony, with many of the stars tweeting selfies from Celtic Park, including Sir Chris Hoy, who hooked up with fellow Scot James McAvoy. Not surprisingly, the Scottie dogs now have their own hashtag...

    Sir Chris Hoy and James MacAvoy

    Read more social media reaction here.

     
  2.  
    Today at the Games 07:20:

    It's the first day of competition at Glasgow 2014, with the first medals be won in the triathlon, cycling, gymnastics, judo, swimming and weightlifting.

    Michael Jamieson

    Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee and his brother Jonny will be going for gold for England in the triathlon at Strathclyde Park, while Sir Bradley Wiggins will be in action for England in the track cycling at 4pm.

    For Scots, the big draw of the day doesn't come till 7pm, when Michael Jamieson gets his challenge under way in the 200m breastroke.

     
  3.  
    Latest updates
  4.  
    Glasgow's big night 07:07:

    So, did you see it? Last night's opening ceremony from Celtic Park was a dazzling affair, with everything from Tunnock's Teacakes and Scottie dogs to royalty, SuBo and fireworks.

    Opening ceremony

    But do you think it did Glasgow and Scotland proud?

    We want to hear what you think. Tweet using #ScotlandLive, email us here or text to 80295.

     
  5.  
    Welcome 06:57: Marianne Taylor BBC Scotland news

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland Live, your minute-by-minute guide to all the latest news, sport, weather and travel across the country.

    It's the first day of competition at Glasgow 2014, and with so much live action to look forward to we'll be here until 23:00.

    Stay in touch and send us your pictures on Twitter using #ScotlandLive, by email at newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk or by text on 80295.

     

Features

  • Glasgow 2014 opening ceremonyLet the Games begin

    Social media reaction to Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony


  • Shinji Mikamo's father's watchTime peace

    The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima


  • A man hangs a Catalan flag at his balcony near Barcelona in 2013Caledonia homage

    Who are the Europeans with an eye on the Scottish referendum?


  • Elephant Diaries - BBCGoing wild

    Wildlife film-makers reveal the tricks of the trade


  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.