Sturgeon unveils indyref2 economic taskforce

Petra Wetzel of West Brewery will sit on the Commission
Petra Wetzel of West Brewery will sit on the Commission
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Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled the group of leading economists, business figures and politicians who will make up the SNP's commission to prepare the economic platform for independence.

West Brewery chief Petra Wetzel will sit on the 14-member Growth Commission, along with renowned economist Professor Andrew Hughes Hallet. Independence supporting captains of industry Marie Macklin and Dan MacDonald are also on the panel.

Former enterprise minister Jim Mather, Glasgow University economic history professor Catherine Schenk and finance secretary Derek MacKay have also been appointed. It will be chaired by former Nationalist MSP Andrew Wilson.

It has been tasked with looking at the currency a future independent Scotland would use, along with ways of tackling the £15 billion deficit the country currently has in the aftermath of the oil crisis.

“I’m delighted to announce the membership of our party’s Growth Commission – with leading economists, some of Scotland’s most successful businesspeople and current and former politicians offering their experience and insight on how best we grow our economy.," Ms Sturgeon said.

“With a background in politics and a keen understanding of our economy Andrew Wilson is well placed to chair this Commission and to bring new ideas to the debate on how we reach our full potential.

“The Commission’s work will inform our thinking in the here and now – how we sustain growth during the period of uncertainty caused by Brexit – but will also examine projections for Scotland’s finances and proposals for growth in the context of independence. That work will include considering policies to grow the economy and reduce Scotland’s deficit and looking at the monetary arrangements which would best underpin a strategy for sustainable growth."

Ms Sturgeon unveiled plans for the Commission when she launched her revived Summer independence drive earlier this month.

It will explore options to grow Scotland’s economy in the wake of EU referendum and consider how to generate further growth with the powers of independence.

It will also look at the currency issue after plans to share the pound in a currency union with the rest of the UK at the last referendum were widely criticised after being rejected by all the main Westminster parties.

Mr Wilson said: "It is my sincere hope that should Scotland be asked to choose again on independence, this project ensures that we all have as sound, transparent and firm a prospectus as any country facing such a choice has ever had.

“Just as important, I hope the work can help the SNP deliver the policies and leadership that are needed now to secure the productivity, growth and competitiveness that we need, delivering sustainable funding for quality public services."

The full membership of the Growth Commission is:

Andrew Wilson (Chair), former SNP MSP and Economy and Finance spokesperson, Founding Partner, Charlotte St Partners

Cllr Marie Burns, Shadow Economy and Communities Spokesperson, North Ayrshire Council and former Director of Skills Interventions at Skills Development Scotland

Prof Iain Docherty, Professor of Public Policy and Governance, University of Glasgow

Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch

Prof Andrew Hughes Hallet, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, George Mason University and University of St Andrews

Dan McDonald, Businessman and Founder of N56 group

Derek MacKay MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance

Marie Macklin CBE, Chief Executive of the Klin Group and Macklin Enterprise Partnership

Jim Mather, Former Enterprise Minister and Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde and Heriot Watt University

Roger Mullin MP, SNP Westminster Finance Spokesperson

Prof Catherine Schenk, Professor of International Economic History, University of Glasgow

Mark Shaw, Chief Executive, Hazledene

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science

Petra Wetzel, Founder and Managing Director WEST Brewery