Nicola Sturgeon: new report will make fresh case for independence

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The First Minister has revealed the publication of an anticipated report will set out a fresh economic case for independence at a private meeting with senior party members.

Nicola Sturgeon told over 300 delegates at the SNP’s council meeting in Perth the Growth Commission report would be released in 2018.

The first minister has pledged to implement the named person scheme

The first minister has pledged to implement the named person scheme

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Speaking to The National, one party member who was present at the meeting on Saturday said: “ [Nicola Sturgeon] said it would be published early in the new year and that it would be a catalyst for relaunching the arguments for independence.”

“Her comments were warmly received.

“..the thrust of it was that the publication of the report would provide an opportunity to make the case again for independence.

“She didn’t mention a date or give a timetable, but my impression was [the document] would be out within the first six weeks of next year.”

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The SNP’s Growth Commission issued private findings on the economic blueprint for an independent Scotland last year but Ms Sturgeon has declined to make them public.

The economic advisory group - set up by the First Minister - was believed to be considering recommending that an independent Scotland launch its own currency, former SNP MP George Kerevan claimed in October.

The Commission has been tasked with exploring the possible economic policies of an independent Scotland.

The group of 14 economists, business leaders and politicians and chaired by ex-MSP Andrew Wilson first met in September last year and has been exploring how to grow Scotland’s economy after Brexit.

The Commission’s final report is now thought to be nearing completion, with Mr Kerevan saying a 400-page document with “three chunky appendices” had been delivered to the First Minister.

A SNP spokesman said: “We look forward to the Growth Commission publishing its report. It will make recommendations to bolster Scotland’s economy both in the short-term but also in face of post-Brexit challenges and in the context of the opportunities offered by independence.”