MORE splits have emerged over the SNP’s Growth Commission, with a former deputy party leader saying it made him despair and a former MP descibing it as “conservative”.

Former deputy Jim Fairlie and former MP George Kerevan both attacked the report, focusing on its plan to keep using the pound informally, rather than creating a Scottish currency.

Mr Fairlie said the policy meant a second referendum would be lost before it started, while Mr Kerevan said it let down the SNP’s working-class base.

It followed the Commission said the “sterlingisation” model should be used for a “possibly extended transition period”, and set six tests before the switch to any new currency.

However keeping sterling would mean Scotland was unable to set its own monetary policy, with interest rates determined by the Bank of England.

The report also recommended five to 10 years of tight public spending in order to reduce Scotland’s deficit from around 6 to 3 per cent of GDP.

Writing in the National newspaper, Mr Kerevan said the “hairshirt approach” might satisfy the “Presbyterian souls of some of the Scottish commentariat and intelligentsia”, but not the working-class voters looking to the SNP for hope.

He said that, by trying to allay middle-class worries about an independent Scotland’s finances, Commission chair Andrew Wilson was “in danger of robbing the next independence referendum of being a rallying cry of hope for working-class voters”.

He concluded: “We can’t please everybody, so let’s please the folk who have had nothing out of the system. Pandering to the status quo won’t change things.”

Mr Fairlie, deputy leader in the early 1980s, said on Twitter: “Have often despaired of political choices by SNP anent Independence. If SNP leadership & ‘celebrity supporters actually support growth Commission, forget Indyref2. It will be lost before campaign starts.”

He said SNP and Yes supporters were predicting economic, social and political disaster for the rest of the UK because of Brexit, yet the Commission plan would see the Westminster Government and Bank of England continue to control Scotland’s monetary policy.

“Impossible to get anyone to explain the sense of it,” he said.

The report has also been attacked by many on the Left of the Yes movement, including the Common Weal thinktank.

Ms Sturgeon was asked about the report’s currency plan at an event in Brussels on Monday.

She said sterlingisation, rather than a formal currency union of the type the SNP proposed in 2014, would not be the same as Panama using the US dollar, because Scotland already used the pound, and would continue using it in that scenario.

She said: “The report is a set of recommendations. The SNP has to consider them and deliberate and come to a view.

“In the last referendum we proposed a currency union but it gave our opponents a political veto. We look forward to debating the report’s recommendations over the next few months.”

Asked about an independent Scotland using the euro - a long-term option briefly referred to in the Commission report - she said: “It’s not my party’s position to have Scotland go into the euro, and I don’t envisage that changing.”

Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie suggested Ms Sturgeon was already distancing herself from the report’s recommendations.

He said: “This could be the biggest climb-down since the Grand Old Duke of York.

“The Growth Commission was supposed to be a game changer and the SNP’s best shot at convincing the majority of people they had learned the lessons of the last independence referendum. Yet it’s taken all of three days for the First Minister to brush it off. All this report has really done is divide the nationalist movement.”