Blair Jenkins: SNP ask people to approach indy with fresh eyes

This is a bold and ambitious report in many respects, but I think one of its key objectives is a relatively modest one – simply to encourage people to approach the independence debate with fresh eyes and an open mind.

Much of the document focuses on one of the strongest economic arguments in favour of Scottish independence – small countries perform better than larger ones.

The SNP‘s Growth Commission report on independence has been labelled a bold and ambitious report that seeks people viewing the subject with fresh eyes

The keys to economic success are seen to lie in growing the 3 “Ps” – productivity, population and participation. Of these, the strongest focus is on population growth and the importance of migration to Scotland.

There is a very welcome demonstration of the benefits Scotland already enjoys from the economic activity of residents who were born overseas. The Polish-born community alone is a net contributor of around £250m per year to the Scottish public purse.

The report also correctly highlights the importance of tone and message in encouraging and welcoming the best overseas talent to Scotland.

In doing so, the Growth Commission reminds us all of the important point that (as in 2014) the debate about Scottish independence is not really one about national identity, but is much more about what sort of country and society we wish to be.

A lot of attention will focus on the Commission’s currency recommendation that Scotland should continue to use the pound for a transitional period after independence. They make a sensible case and the SNP will reflect on this issue over the summer.

The independence vision here is one of a fairer, more tolerant country, achieving economic prosperity but also so much more besides. There is currently no such vision available for Scotland within Brexit UK.

In producing this positive and realistic contribution to the debate, Andrew Wilson and his colleagues have done a great service, not just to the Yes movement but to the country as a whole.

l The author was the chief executive of Yes Scotland, the campaign for Scottish independence

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