At the last independence referendum, we were constantly vulnerable to criticism on monetary and economic grounds. We were woefully unprepared and Alex Salmond did not have the arguments together.

Re monetary grounds, this can be dealt with easily by saying we will continue to use the £ until or when we can do better. The refusal of Westminster to allow us to use it was a nonsense. They can't stop us using it.

Re economic grounds, I have striven to find good information but it is scarcely available. GERS is mince. I have, however looked at Nordic nations and have found as follows :

Country GDP comparison

Country Pop m GDP GDP per capita for year 2016 £
Norway 5.25 300bn 57k
Finland  5.5 193bn 35k
Denmark 5.65 260bn 46k
Holland 17.1 599bn 35k
Iceland  0.3 13bn 44k
Belgium  11.2 365bn 34k
Ireland  4.8 227bn 47k
UK  63.2 1900bn 30k
Scotland 5.3 157bn 30k ( i.e. pop 8.4% & GDP 8.3% of UK )

It is scarcely conceivable that other countries of similar or smaller sizes than Scotland have better GDP outcomes than Scotland is portrayed as having. GDP is not a very useful economic indicator, but it is the best we have.

We are never going to find a true measure of income but it doesn't take much imagination to see that if we kept all the taxes raised in Scotland - income tax, commercial tax, whisky tax, oil tax, VAT, we could be well on our way. I raise all this here, because we must be ready to put forward a credible argument for independence well before we initiate a campaign, one feature of which will be economics and I trust that someone within the SIC, better qualified than I am, can pick this up and run with it.