Edinburgh, Scotland
A pro-independence rally in Edinburgh, Scotland. Reuters

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged voters in Scotland to stay in the UK, warning that “it is hard to see how how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland.”

Abbott told the Times Of London (subscription) that those who wanted to see the UK break up “were not the friends of justice, the friends of freedom... and the countries that would cheer at the prospect... are not the countries whose company one would like to keep.”

Abbott's intervention is the most pointed intervention by a UK ally in the upcoming referendum to date.

In July, U.S. President Barack Obama told Scottish voters “if it ain't broke, don't fix it,” referring to Scotland's membership of the United Kingdom.

Scottish voters will vote in a referendum on September 18, the outcome of which will determine whether the country will remain part of the United Kingdom, or become an independent nation.

BBC News reports that Scotland's devolved government believes that the union is no longer in the country's interests. The UK government in London however, opposes the move saying that remaining the UK is in Scotland's national interest.

More information of the Scottish referendum can be found from the Scottish government here and the UK government here.