Being a proud citizen of the UK does not imply that I am not a proud Scot.

Of course I am. I have always felt totally at home with my double nationality; indeed privileged. Now, because I'm domiciled north of the Border (like a millennium or two of my ancestors), am I suddenly to be deprived of my UK citizenship?

It is not the economic arguments that particularly move me; rather a sense that this harking back to an old outworn nationalism and defying centuries of fruitful inter-relationship with our big southern neighbour is so unnecessary, so divisive in an already unstable international world; in short, to use that very Scottish word, daft.

I write, I suppose, from the perspective of someone whose student years were devoted to history and literature. And, yes, I'm pleased that Robert the Bruce won the Battle of Bannockburn, and proud of the democratic claims made for the Declaration of Arbroath. I also believe that James VI and I's vision of the two kingdoms united, living in mutual respect and to mutual advantage, was a visionary ideal that is still absolutely valid.

Historically, the failure of the Darien Scheme (an earlier example of the Scots propensity for getting emotionally and financially entangled in something patently unviable?) is supposed to have precipitated the Act of Union. The truth was more complex (and involved Continental wars and perceived threats to English security from the north). Regardless of the rationale, it led to what in some ways was Scotland's greatest century (so far!) when its intellectuals were in the vanguard of the European Enlightenment.

Perhaps the most admirable aspect of the Treaty of Union of 1707 was its promised protection for those three principal aspects of Scottish life: education, the Reformed Kirk, and the Scottish legal system. By and large it succeeded.

There is an argument that Scottish history and culture, and in particular its Lowland language, were neglected in the Victorian age and well into the 20th century, and not given due respect in secondary schools or the Scottish universities. But, if it was true, this has largely been redressed by the cultural and creative flowering of recent years. As a judge in two national poetry competitions, I'm astonished annually by the sheer volume and quality of the creative energies of my Scottish countrymen and women (whether writing in English or Lowland Scots).

As for that latter language, I view it not as an alternative to English but a tremendous additional asset with its vivid vocabulary and sharp idioms. No need to choose one or the other: one may revel in both and enjoy as a shared right the great works of our island heritage, from Shakespeare and Burns to Tennyson and Hardy.

If there were cultural problems in the past, they obviously weren't paralleled in the worlds of science and medicine, when people of the quality of James Clerk Maxwell, Lord Kelvin, Robert Watson-Watt, and Sir James Black were produced by the northern education system!

All in all, we contemporary Scots remain a distinctive lot. But why should that imply the slightest hostility to our southern neighbours and fellow citizens? Over these three linked centuries, we have gone through so many experiences with them - the Napoleonic Wars; the Industrial Revolution, with both its black and glorious sides; the great moral victory over slavery; the colonisation of the 19th century; the evolution of parliamentary democracy; and two world wars. There is so much shared heroism and reason for shared pride.

And, we know, that ever since 1707, Scots have wielded far more power and influence over southern politics and governance, business and academia, than mere numbers would merit.

What a shame if we wantonly cut off that great, mutually beneficent, symbiotic relationship for some outdated parochial vision of a Scottish identity - which in any case is not in the least under threat!

Back to my opening point. I see myself as both a privileged citizen of the UK, and a Scot. Would a simple Yes vote of even one ballot paper deprive me of that UK citizenship? No-one has said anything reassuring about this. Would UK citizens who want to retain the legal identity they were born with, and is internationally acknowledged, have to move south of the Border, on the analogy of the loyal Britons (including Flora MacDonald) after the American Revolution?

How stupid. How unfair. How unnecessary.