Scottish independence: 'We'll stay neutral,' says US ambassador Susman

Mr Susman said he believed it was up to people living in Scotland to decide their own future

The US ambassador to Britain has told the BBC that his country would not take sides in the Scottish independence referendum debate.

Louis Susman said the Washington government was watching the debate unfold and would be staying "neutral".

He believed it was up to people in Scotland to decide their future.

Mr Susman's comments chime with that of ex-UN deputy secretary general Mark Malloch-Brown, who said the US would be wise to keep out of the debate.

During an interview in Edinburgh with BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor, Mr Susman said: "This is up for the Scottish people to decide and where their best future is for their children and their grandchildren.

"We will watch it and we won't take sides. We are neutral and we will just have to see what will happen.

"But obviously there are ramifications either way."

The retired investment banker also spoke about the state of the economy and Britain's place in the European Union.

Last month, the Obama administration warned the UK government of the dangers of holding a referendum on EU membership.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he would be willing to hold an "in/out" vote on membership before the end of 2017 if his party were to win the next election.

Mr Susman reiterated Washington's view of Britain in the EU by saying: "My government's position has been very clear - that the UK is our oldest and strongest ally.

"We are not a member of the EU, so from time to time, when we need messages carried or argument made, we have relied on them and if they are not there or not there as a full voice credible member it will give us some concern."

In a separate BBC interview, Lord Malloch-Brown, who was minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Gordon Brown's government, said the US would be wise to keep out of the Scottish independence debate.

He told Glenn Campbell: "Foreign, unsolicited advice, is going to only anger Scots. Britain and Scotland should be broadly left to sort this out amongst themselves."

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Scotland politics stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • SyedTanks instead of toys

    Lyse Doucet on the plight of children in Syria and Gaza


  • Silhouette of manSuper-shy

    Why do Germany's super-rich so often keep their heads down?


  • Detail from Gin Lane by HogarthMother's ruin

    The time was gin was full of sulphuric acid and turpentine


  • The two sisters in their bakery'Must be mad'

    Why two Spanish sisters started a bakery in a desert


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • EscaladeBling's the thing

    The ostentatious Cadillac Escalade cruises into 2015 with fuel-gulping gusto

Programmes

  • A sun bearThe Travel Show Watch

    The Borneo sanctuary coming to rescue of the world’s smallest bear

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.