Independence not a ‘magic wand’ or ‘quick step to success’, says report author

THE architect of the SNP's report into boosting economic growth has told how independence must not be seen as a "magic wand" or "quick and easy step to success".

Andrew Wilson of the Sustainable Growth Commission revealed that an independent Scotland should keep the pound during an extended transition period after leaving the UK.

The report outlines that sterling should remain as the country's currency for a period of time after any break from the union, while the First Minister has said the commission will "restart the debate" about Scottish independence.

A separate Scottish currency could be set up after independence if six tests are met, the SNP-commissioned economic report has suggested.

The tests cover fiscal sustainability, central bank credibility, sufficiency of reserves and trading patterns as set out in the Sustainable Growth Commission report.

Report author Andrew Wilson said: "It is important that independence must never be seen as a magic wand or quick and easy step to success.

"Indeed, there is no pot of gold, black or otherwise, at the foot of the independence rainbow. But there is a toolbox and using it will mean taking responsibility for choices that seek to create a stronger economy, sustainable public finances and a fairer society.

"Independence is a means to those ends, I believe a necessary but not sufficient step to success. The choices that are then made about the country's strategy and how effectively they are delivered are what will determine success – we are our choices."

Scotland's First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said: "This report rightly doesn't shy away from the challenges we face but presents ways in which those challenges can be addressed – and sets out recommendations on currency – which as a country we should all debate and discuss.

"Scotland is now in a very different political and economic situation to 2014. There is no status quo and we know that being taken out of Europe and out of a market around eight times bigger than the UK market alone will hit our economy.

"That is why it is time to begin a fresh debate and to replace the despair of Brexit with optimism about Scotland's future.

"We look forward to debating the report's recommendations – both within the SNP and with business, trade unions and communities across Scotland."

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "Scotland voted decisively in 2014 to remain part of the UK. That decision should be respected. The public do not want another divisive independence referendum.

"We want to work with the Scottish Government to maximise the opportunities our exit from the European Union will bring. We should all put our energies into making sure we get the right deal for Scotland and the rest of the UK as we leave the EU."

 



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