Foreign donors could influence the Scottish independence campaign for their own ends, MPs have warned after Yes Scotland defended accepting overseas cash.

The campaign group has previously challenged its opponents, Better Together, to reject donations from outside Scotland.

But yesterday its leader Blair Jenkins told MPs it was acceptable to take foreign money, as long it was less than £500.

Ian Davidson, chairman of the Commons Scottish Affairs Committee, which was hearing evidence from Mr Jenkins, said the issue was fraught with danger.

"There is the possibility of foreign funding flooding into Scotland in large amounts even if there are limits on individual donations," he said. "Experience shows these rules can be easily got around."

He also warned that other pro-independence groupings in Europe might try to affect the outcome of Scotland's referendum for their own purposes.

The committee is to investigate the issue after Edinburgh Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart questioned whether the Section 30 Order agreed between Alex Salmond and David Cameron last month allows foreign donations.

Mr Jenkins's campaign has previously called for Better Together to reject donations from other parts of the UK. He said he expected his campaign to be built on small donations, but insisted only a "very small proportion" would come from overseas.

Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall, who was also appearing in front of the committee, said he would refuse to take cash from foreign donors, but would accept UK-wide donations up to £500.

Between now and the start of the "short campaign" in 2014 there are no official limits on donations to the campaigns.

Yes Scotland is thought to be well funded following donations from the bequest of Scotland's late Makar, Edwin Morgan, and Euro-lottery winners Chris and Colin Weir.

The SNP received a further £195,879 from the estate of the late poet Morgan, on top of the £917,739 already donated.

Better Together is also thought to have had a number of donations, but not on the same scale.