A NEWLY independent Scotland should rise above the type of Brexit squabbling that has mired the UK and Europe and agree to shoulder its share of Britain’s historic debt by paying £5 billion a year.

The SNP’s long-awaited independence blueprint also recommends keeping the pound for at least 10 years while limiting public spending in an attempt to reduce Scotland’s deficit – setting targets in line with the current rules for EU membership.

It suggests taking on its share of the UK’s debt burden as part of a “close and positive” relationship, insisting lessons should be learned “from the less than orderly approach to the Brexit discussions so far”.

Read more: The Growth Commission: At a glance

A £5 billion “annual solidarity payment” would cover debt servicing contributions, as well as continued funding for foreign aid and shared services.

Scottish Labour branded it a recipe for a decade of “unprecedented” cuts, but the chair of the SNP Growth Commission which produced the report told The Herald: “It’s the opposite of austerity.”

The document – which was 20 months in the making – recommends an independent Scotland continue using the pound for a “possibly extended transition period”.

Read more: Growth Commission: Unionists seeing red over SNP’s blueprint

This would mean the country’s monetary policy, covering interest rates and the control of inflation, would be determined for many years by the Bank of England in London.

It also accepts “a number of banks” may move their headquarters down south following independence, but insists there would be “very limited impact on operation activity” as many of their executive functions are already based in London.

Meanwhile, the country’s deficit should be reduced to below three per cent within five to 10 years, it advocates, while national debt should not increase beyond 50 per cent of GDP. Both of these policies would fit with EU membership limits.

Read more: Jim Sillars: Growth Commission has depth, detail and intellectual rigour

The report suggests it would take up to a quarter of a century for Scotland to catch up with other successful independent countries such as Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

It looked at 12 small advanced countries – with a particular emphasis on the three listed above – and found GDP per head was on average 14 per cent higher than in Scotland. This translates to an extra £4,100 per person.

Billed as a “new case for optimism”, the Growth Commission’s chair Andrew Wilson – a former SNP MSP – insisted its vision for independence was not a "magic wand" but rather a toolbox for future success.

Read more: John Curtice: Growth Commission is a bid to find answers but necessary steps won’t all be popular

He said: “Scotland has potential far beyond its current performance. Our ambition should be to perform to the level of the best of the small advanced economies in the world and, in doing so, make the right choices about the sort of society and economy we wish to live in.”

But Professor Ronald MacDonald, one of Scotland’s most renowned macroeconomists, warned the proposals would lead to a currency crisis. He said they implied massive spending cuts or tax hikes to generate the necessary cash reserves.

The SNP-commissioned report rejects forming a currency union with the rest of the UK – which the party advocated in 2014 – insisting a future UK Government could reject the plans, as happened during the last referendum campaign.

Read more: David Bell: Growth Commission is a reasoned economic case but it won’t please everyone

It argues the advantages of “sterling continuation” outweigh the benefits of introducing a new Scottish currency in the short to medium term.

However, Strathclyde University's Fraser of Allander Institute said “sterlingisation” has never been tried in a country of Scotland’s size or stage of development.

The blueprint goes on to set out a series of tests which should be met before a new Scottish currency is brought in, including bringing the deficit under control and ensuring sufficient foreign exchange and financial reserves.

Read more: Alistair Carmichael: Growth Commission is all about the economy and that’s why it is still a ‘No’

It suggests an independent Scotland would have set-up costs of around £450 million over five years, chiefly to establish four new bodies: a defence force, a foreign affairs and trade department, a security and intelligence agency and a central bank and financial regulator.

But transition costs would be recovered within six years, it argues, while the additional personnel needed to staff Scotland’s new bodies would pump almost £226m into the economy, with extra tax revenues of more than £75 million.

The document marks a substantial break from 2014’s White Paper by taking oil out of its sums – except to say that windfalls will be channelled into a "fund for future generations".

Read more: Ronald MacDonald: Growth Commission has too many deficiencies to be credible

It proposes a “complete break from the xenophobic rhetoric so prevalent in the UK as a result of the debate surrounding the EU referendum”.

Migrants would be attracted through a package of measures, including tax breaks for the highly skilled and ‘golden visas’, which offer people the right to live in Scotland if they invest a certain amount in the economy.

The document insists “there is little sense in competing as a low cost or low tax location” after independence, but adds that the tax system could be used to attract people and investment.

Read more: Kenny MacAskill: Growth Commission is a substantial contribution but the court of public opinion will decide

Elsewhere, it states £1 billion could be saved through a comprehensive review of UK spending programmes – such as the cost of running Whitehall – when Scotland goes it alone.

Reducing the gender pay gap and doubling exports would also help boost the economy by billions of pounds a year.