AN independent Scotland can emulate the world’s 12 best-performing small economies, a long-awaited SNP blueprint will claim.

The party’s Growth Commission report – due to be published tomorrow – will also argue that independence will be worth an extra £4,100 per person if Scotland is able to match the success of similarly sized nations, such as Finland and New Zealand.

Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, insisted the document was “not about milk and honey” but presented a detailed analysis on how the economy of Scotland could be strengthened.


It will insist small economies have consistently performed better than larger ones over the last 25 years on average.

Asked if the report meant the SNP had got it wrong in 2014, Mr Blackford said the country was in “a different place” post-Brexit.

He said: “There was an awful lot of people who were not uncomfortable with the concept of Scottish independence as a principle but they felt a degree of fear as to what Scotland’s economic future would be.

“What we need to do is to explain to people how we could change that picture and how we could create that sustainable growth in an independent Scotland.”

Mr Blackford also pointed to the so-called “demographic timebomb” facing Scotland, suggesting that at the heart of the Commission’s report would be a demand for immigration to be devolved to Edinburgh.

The SNP’s Growth Commission will argue Scotland should match the success of other small countries, with a particular emphasis on Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

It will make 30 recommendations which – if implemented now and with the powers that would come with independence – would help Scotland emulate the growth rates of comparable nations.

The report seeks to design a “next generation economic model”, driving growth over 25 years and beyond and calling for “long-term cross partisan strategy”.

READ MORE: Tom Gordon: Will the SNP's Growth Commission be worth the wait?

It will also say Scotland should be “migration friendly”, and will advocate “taxation for economic development”, rather than the country competing as a low tax location.

Achieving Scotland's potential, the document will insist, would be worth additional economic output equivalent to an extra £4,100 per person in Scotland.

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said the SNP “can pluck out any number of fanciful examples, but it won't change the fact Scotland is far more prosperous and secure as part of the UK."

He added: "People are still asking the question why the SNP is putting so much effort into a question that was settled decisively just a few years ago.

"This is all about Nicola Sturgeon trying to secure her legacy and a place in history, but Scots are fed-up of her grandstanding."

The Tories also accused the SNP of a "cowardly approach" after it emerged the new report will be released online without a media launch where questions could be asked.

Andrew Wilson, the former SNP MSP who has spearheaded the document, called it “the most substantially considered economic policy proposals for Scotland and independence that have been produced to date”.

He said: “Our work shows that small countries can be amongst the most economically successful countries in the world, with higher standards of living and lower levels of inequality than many larger economies.

“There is nothing intrinsic in any of the best performing economies that Scotland does not have. To secure an improvement in our performance will take purposeful strategic effort for over a generation.

READ MORE: SNP's new report on independence sets out case for 'economic renaissance'

“We require world class policy, world class institutions and cross partisan effort if we are to achieve our ambition to create a much more successful economy and cohesive and fair society.”

It comes as a Scottish Government official told MSPs on a Holyrood committee that the country was potentially facing a “Scotland-specific economic shock” as growth continues to lag behind the rest of the UK.

New borrowing powers of up to £900 million, contained in the Scotland Act 2016, will be triggered if Scotland’s GDP continues to trail behind the UK as it did last year.