This might have been the impression that Ewing intended to convey, but it was not actually what he said in his keynote Scottish Tourism Week speech: "We are aware that other independent countries like Ireland and Portugal have cut VAT on tourism and gained considerably as a result. These are examples that an independent Scotland could follow."
After sending out its press release, the campaign HQ in London received a "flustered and frantic" phone call from a Scottish Government spinner claiming what the minister meant was that indy Scotland "could" cut VAT. Could they please rush out a correction?
The "could" line is technically true, but not hugely helpful as guidance for the Scottish tourism industry. The Scottish Government is free with promises of indy milk and honey, but it also fears questions about how to pay for these commodities in the short term.