Azeem Ibrahim, a director at the Washington-based Centre for Global Policy, said the UK remained a vital part of the US defence structure and warned the collapse of the Union would have a serious impact across the Atlantic. He said US security chiefs were closely monitoring the situation in Scotland ahead of the May elections which could see calls for a second referendum on independence reach fever pitch.
Boris Johnson has made clear the UK Government would not sanction IndyRef2 but Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP has vowed to challenge any attempts to block another vote in the courts.
But Professor Ibrahim warned the SNP’s dream of independent nation status could turn into a nightmare.
He said: “Scottish independence would be a geopolitical disaster for the United Kingdom, the United States and Scotland itself.
“Independence would effectively neutralise the UK’s military and diplomatic power on the global arena and deprive the US of one of its most pivotal allies, an ally that remains a critical pillar of America’s defence structure.”
Prof Ibrahim said a Scottish breakaway would leave Britain’s nuclear deterrent in disarray with the loss of the Faslane naval base.
The SNP has committed to decommissioning the base, home of the UK’s Trident nuclear submarine fleet, if it wins the independence battle and there are few if any suitable sites for a new HQ along the English coast.
Prof Ibrahim said: “Mitigating the consequences of independence once it has already happened will be an extremely difficult and costly task.
“And that is why the independence scenario is a lose-lose scenario for everyone: Washington, London, and the people of Scotland themselves.”
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He continued: “This is why the Biden administration needs to keep a very close eye on what is happening with separatism tendencies in the UK more than perhaps anywhere else in the world.
“Due to his closeness to Ireland, Mr Biden is already keenly observing the consequences of Brexit in Northern Ireland.
“Mr Biden and his administration need to be equally alive to the real and imminent threat emerging from Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon has made it clear she will view a clear SNP victory in the May 6 elections as a legitimate mandate to stage a second referendum on Scotland’s future and would resist attempts from Mr Johnson’s government to thwart such a vote.
SNP Depute leader Keith Brown said: “The Tories have always hated devolution and fought tooth and nail to stop our nation’s parliament being established.
“Now, they’re doing everything they can to try to erode confidence in our democracy brick by brick from the inside – no one will trust the Tories to protect Scotland’s Parliament.
“The coming election is a stark choice – and both votes for the SNP are needed to put our country’s future in Scotland’s hands and not Boris Johnson’s.”