The UK’s top civil servant Sir Gus O’Donnell has warned that maintaining the Union will be an “enormous challenge”.
Speaking in the Daily Telegraph Sir Gus said: “Over the next few years, there will be enormous challenges, such as whether to keep our kingdom united.”
He said that the constitutional question would be a major issue in the coming years.
Sir Gus’ comments were welcomed by First Minister Alex Salmond who said he believed the UK’s top civil servant was right to recognise the importance of the constitutional issue.
Mr Salmond said: “I have always regarded Sir Gus O’Donnell as a model civil servant, who has been extremely fair in recognising and respecting the democratic mandate of the Scottish government.
“Sir Gus is right to recognise the importance of the constitutional issue.”