Former SNP leader Gordon Wilson has attacked senior figures supporting independence for arguing their case “with all the excitement of a robot”.
The former Dundee East MP, who was succeeded by Alex Salmond in 1990, said there “is absence of vision, passion and emotion” in the Yes campaign and called for it to focus more on the negative case against the Union as well as the positives of independence.
However, although he conceded Better Together had been “better prepared, better organised and more effective”, Mr Wilson accused the campaign to keep the Union as beginning “to look anti-Scottish, disparaging to the point of racism”.
The director of the referendum discussion unit Options for Scotland said: “One thing assured is that Scotland’s influence will be reduced domestically and worldwide for a generation (in the event of a No vote).
“If you aim for the stars and crash, no one will take you seriously and it is likely the trend of positive foreign investment seen during the independence debate will reverse.”
A spokesperson for Yes Scotland said: “The Options for Scotland report is a useful contribution to the debate as we move towards a year to go to the referendum.
“Gordon Wilson has suggestions for both campaigns but in the final analysis I think we can be confident that he will be voting Yes.”
Scottish Labour’s spokesman on the constitution, Drew Smith, said: “This stinging rebuke to the separation campaign by a leading nationalist shows the underlying tensions within their campaign.”