NICOLA Sturgeon has admitted the figures in the SNP’s economic blueprint for independence are now “completely out of date” despite demanding a second referendum before updating them.

The First Minister conceded the party’s 2018 Growth Commmission, written before both the Covid pandemic and the final Brexit deal, was no longer reliable.

However she said there would be no new analysis conducted until the eve of Indyref2.

She told Channel 4 News: “While the underlying approach of the Growth Commission is one that I fully endorse and sign up to, the figures in it are completely out of date.

“Because in the period since that was published we’ve undergone a global pandemic, the fiscal position of the UK and most countries across the world has been turned upside down.” 

The Scottish Tories accused her of a "dangerous and dishonest" failure on the economics of leaving the Union.

Commissioned in the wake of the 2016 Brexit vote, the Sustainable Growth Commission was written by former SNP MSP turned corporate lobbyist Andrew Wilson.

It angered many in the SNP with its caution, its emphasis on spending restraint and deficit reduction in the first decade after independence, and its hesitancy over a new currency.

READ MORE: SNP drops Indyref2 slogan from ballot papers

Boris Johson has refused to grant Indyref2, saying the No vote of 2014 should stand for a generation, which he defined as around 40 years.

However the SNP manifesto for the Holyrood election says the party would try to hold a second referendum by the end of 2023, Covid permitting, if re-elected.

It also says a Yes vote would mean an independent Scotland rejoining the European Union, without a second EU referendum.

Because of Brexit, Scottish re-entry to Europe would mean a hard economic border with England, because that border would also be an external EU border.

A recent LSE study suggested an independent Scotland cost face extra trade costs of between 15 and 30 per cent with the rest of the UK because of such a border.

HeraldScotland:

Ten months before the 2014 referendum, the Scottish Government poduced a 650-page White Paper on independence intended to inform voters. There has been no update.

Asked if she had conducted an analysis of the economic consequences of independence, Ms Sturgeon said: “When we put the choice of independence before the Scottish people in a referendum, we will do what we did in 2014.

"We will set out a prospectus, we will do the analysis at that point, and we’ll let people in Scotland decide.”

She said the LSE report was a “very, very narrowly based assessment and it didn’t take account of the wider benefits of independence to Scotland’s economy”.

Ms Sturgeon was asked what information she had about what independence would mean for Scotland’s economy.

She said: “I think people rightly expect to have that. Just as they had it in 2014 before they voted, yes, they rightly expect to have that before they’re asked to vote again.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon brands opponents 'infantile' for criticising SNP's record

Asked why that information wasn’t available now, the SNP leader replied: “We’re in a global pandemic. 

“The Growth Commission, while the underlying approach of the Growth Commission is one that I fully endorse and sign up to, the figures in it are completely out of date

“Because in the period since that was published we’ve undergone a global pandemic, the fiscal position of the Uk and most countries across the world has been turned upside down.

“So we’ll do these things in the proper, ordered way.

"People will have not just the detail that you’re talking about, but the vision of taking the future of the country into our own hands, not having it determined by Johnson and his Brexiteers."

Ms Sturgeon also admitted the Scottish Government “didn’t get everything right” at the start of the pandemic, when hospital patients were dicharged into care homes without being untested for Covid.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman recently conceded that move, blamed for passing the virus to other care home residents with fatal results, had been a “mistake”.

A third of the 10,000 confirmed or suspected Covid deaths in Scotland have been in care homes, with the death rate for homes among the worst in the world.

Scottish Tory finance spokesman Murdo Fraser said: "Nicola Sturgeon's failure to provide basic information about the costs of independence are typical of an SNP mindset in which blind faith eclipses basic economics.

"Her plan to stage a referendum in 2023 while we recover from Covid is utterly preposterous, but a lack of any information about the devastating financial consequences for hard-pressed families is dangerous and dishonest.

"She knows she cannot provide an honest economic blueprint because it would destroy support for separation. 

"So instead, she has decided to dupe the public in the most irresponsible way."

Scottish Liberal Democrat election campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said: "The SNP failed to set out a credible economic prospectus in 2014 and now it is doing it again. 

"This is the type of terrible movie that goes on repeat on tv. We already watched this. We already know how it is going to end. 

"It's time to change the channel. It's time to end divisions. It's time to put recovery first."