Economic case for Scots independence to be made at SNP conference

The ability for an independent Scotland to match the prosperity of smaller nations such as Denmark and New Zealand will be laid out in a draft agenda to be voted on at next month’s SNP’s conference.

A four-page motion will reportedly be put to the conference starting 27 April setting out arguments for Scots to determining their own future as an independent nation.

Findings of the Growth Commission report headed by economist Andrew Wilson will be summarised in the resolution, The National has reported.

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First Minister and SNP party leader Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Among Mr Wilson’s key aims was to examine the prosperity of smaller independent nations that could be compared to a breakaway Scotland.

Those nations include Denmark, New Zealand and Ireland.

The 33-point resolution tabled by SNP depute leader Keith Brown and finance secretary Derek Mackay will be put to members at the conference in Edinburgh.

The resolution will say: “Scotland is a prosperous and successful nation, with significant economic assets and advantages, such as our vast natural resources, the skills and education of the people who live here and a range of sectors with existing and potential global competitiveness. Scotland is a rich country with the potential to achieve more.

“However, conference also notes that despite these abundant resources, similarly sized independent countries with the ability to tailor economic policy to their own needs have performed significant better than Scotland.

“In terms of GDP per head, the media income of the 12 small advanced economies considered by the Sustainable Growth Commission is around 14 per cent higher than Scotland’s - equivalent to £4,100 per person.”

The resolution goes further, setting out an ambition for “an SNP government in an independent Scotland should adopt the Commission’s recommended targets of (a) matching the average growth rate of these other small advances economies within ten years (or earlier if possible) and (b) closing the gap in GDP per capita with these countries within 25 years (or earlier if possible).”

The publication listed within the draft agenda comes after key SNP figures last week confirmed plans for an independent Scotland to adopt its own currency.

A motion earmarked for the party’s conference in Edinburgh next month will confirm the shift in policy from the 2014 independence referendum when Alex Salmond proposed retaining the pound.

Opponents have dismissed the move, insisting the SNP’s revised plan for independence would mean years of austerity.