THE trigger is different but the bullets remain the same.

It was Brexit that fired the starting pistol for a second referendum on independence but familiar, wounding shots will be aimed at a Yes campaign. These include persistent and proper questions on the economy of an independent Scotland and the increasingly controversial issue of any sectarian element to the campaign.

It is then appropriate to bring in an expert witness and one who insists he has no axe to grind far less verbal bullets to fire. David Low is the financial adviser who helped bring Celtic back from the brink of oblivion in 1994 and continues through his companies to deal in investment affairs worldwide.

He is not a romantic in political terms. He did not vote in the last referendum and has not yet decided his preference in the next.

“My starting point is that I have a strong disdain for most politicians. I do not think it is the most honest of professions and it is a profession rather than a vocation because I think there is now an increasing number of people making politics a career choice and who are prepared to hop parties to progress said careers,” he says bluntly in his offices off Charing Cross in Glasgow.

“Secondly, I consider most political nationalism inherently divisive and unhealthy. Most people should be more concerned at what puts food on their table than what flag is going to be flying above them,” he says.

These are strong words but Low is not about to dismiss home rule out of hand. He believes strongly, though, that the economic arguments must be discussed honestly and unpalatable truths, on either side of the debate, must be admitted.

“I accept there has always been a minority of people in Scotland in favour of independence but if the nationalists want to convince the majority it has to be on economic grounds. Trying to scare the bejesus out of them about how awful the Tories are is not a logical reason to vote for something as radical as independence.”

In this, Low insists the Yes campaign must assess its weakest point and come up with a strategy. It is something he has followed in his career. His most publicised success was the discreet coup he engineered for Fergus McCann at Celtic, buying up the shares of small stakeholders to achieve a revolution against the establishment that shocked the incumbent Celtic board and most of the football world.

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So what are the economic bullets the SNP must disarm?

“If you share an island with a bigger economy then people migrate. I am an economic migrant. My family came to Scotland for a better life,” he says of his familial history in Ireland, where he is a dual passport holder. So if our tax policy became markedly higher or our economy deteriorated then people could just drive down the M74.”

The battle over the first referendum was lost on the economy in the debates between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, he says.

“I don’t think what was on the table then was true independence,” he says. “One of the politicians I respect most is Jim Sillars because he is honest,” he says of the former deputy leader of the SNP. “His agenda is one of proper economic independence, for better or for worse. People like him think we should not be in the UK or EU, have our own currency and central bank, and say that is proper independence. I have respect for that view.”

But does he agree with it? “Not at the moment.”

He expands: “The reality is that an independent Scotland would have to finance a significant deficit despite not being able to be truly independent with its fiscal policy. There would be too much economic pain for too many people.”

There is the counter argument that there is a constituency of Scots who may be willing to suffer economic pain to seize control of their destiny.

Low makes a more pressing case for another ingredient, though.

“I would be asking all politicians to tell the truth. This is particularly true for the Yes campaign. They have more likelihood of getting a vote for independence if they tell the truth. You can only get so far blaming the Westminster Government or trading misleading figures,” he says.

“I don’t think it is helpful of telling the country how much the economy is capable of earning without telling them how much we are spending or how the deficit will be addressed. More honesty is required. That has been missing on both sides.”

So how would he frame the economic argument for independence?

“Scotland should have its own currency because that is real independence and that should be a part of official policy,” he says. “I accept that Scotland will have to have a sterlingisation policy, sterlingisation being adopting the British pound but having no control over it in the short term.”

He would move to a national currency. But before the vote he would set out plans to address a deficit. The plans would be sober, realistic, and businesslike.

“People can be swayed by emotional arguments but the economic one will be decisive,” he says. A lifetime Celtic supporter and long-time season ticket holder, he was interested in comments by a club director and former Labour MP, Brian Wilson, who said the SNP were engaged in a “deliberate attempt to sectarianise Scottish politics”.

Low does not endorse that view but has “fears” over the referendum. “There is a significant proportion of people in Scotland who love being British. Among them are a minority of militant types. Hell will freeze over before they will ever accept an independent Scotland. There are, on the other side, those who dislike being British. Indeed, there’s little in Britain’s past that I like, hence my becoming an Irish citizen.”

Reverting to the campaign, his advice to the Yes campaign is simple: “Tell the truth, even if it is not particularly palatable.”

The truth, it seems, could yet set the nation free.