The UK is a system, constructed from recognisable parts that connect and synergise each other; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
When those connections are destroyed, as in any divorce, synergies go and both sides lose badly.
Alex Salmond, Lesley Riddoch and others, in their airy dismissal of such consequences, fail to see the bigger picture and are guilty of tunnel vision.
In science it is called reductionism; its failings have long been recognised.
I am British and Scots and proud of both. The diminishing of my identity by potential separation represents in miniature what a Yes vote will do to all like me in the UK.
The antagonism and ill-will generated south of the Border by a Yes vote augurs badly for any post-vote negotiation and will most certainly damage any reasonable outcome.
Scotland has not suffered worse than the North-east, North-west, Midlands of England, Wales or Northern Ireland. All could equally complain.
It is distance from the centre of power that generates such feelings and those in the north Highlands will express that about Edinburgh.
There needs to be changes in UK governance.
My preference is a form of devo-max that leaves intact currency, absence of borders, EU membership, research funding, pensions and all the other concerns that rightfully have come to the fore.
An irreversible Yes vote is a step too far, a blank cheque we are asked to sign with the unrecognised deficit to be filled in later; we deserve better than independence offers.
A No vote is flexible, and does not negate the possibility of saying Yes in the future f necessary. Wilful system destruction is neither creative nor a recipe for a nation at peace with itself.
(Prof) Tony Trewavas FRS