IT is the sign of a genuinely thought-provoking report that it attracts compliments and criticisms from all sides of an argument.

The Sustainable Growth Commission’s report, A New Case for Optimism, was never intended to please all of the people all of the time, for that was not the aim of those who authorised its production and those who wrote it.

Their intention was to thoroughly examine the economic possibilities for an independent Scotland, and only the most blinkered opponent could say they have failed to achieve what they set out to do.

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There are those in the Yes movement who will say it does not go far enough on issues like currency and that it is fiscally conservative, just as there are those who will accuse the authors of fanciful economics and of composing a wish list.

For those of us who support independence it is gratifying to see that many people on the other side are viewing the report as a serious and challenging document. It is also disappointing that a few proponents of independence have rushed to judgement against the report without truly digesting its detail and implications.

There are those who are saying the report has kick-started the second independence referendum campaign.

We are delighted to inform them that The National has been chronicling the rising of that campaign through the growth of the Yes movement for months now.

Yet there is no doubt that the report is, to a greater or lesser extent, a game-changer.

By virtue of the fact that it is a sound and sensible report which is comprehensive in its approach, cogently argued, bold in its assertions and impressive in its factual detail, the document has reinvigorated the debate on Scottish independence in a new and positive fashion.

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Nor will the Unionist side ever again be able to argue that the pro-independence campaign does not confront reality.

The National has always believed that the people of Scotland should decide the future of Scotland. In one fell swoop the report brings us somewhat closer to the day when the people will decide Scotland’s destiny, because First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has now been set a challenge – not if, but when does she call a second referendum. The SNP cannot commission this report and then not act on it when it makes a clear economic case for independence. To do otherwise would be a dereliction of duty to Scotland’s people.

Those in Westminster who would deny that second referendum will also now have to explain why they would deny Scotland a more optimistic future than the one which is promised under the insanity of Brexit.

The Commission’s courage in confronting the challenges of independence does its members great credit. Now we can go forward from here in the knowledge that the debate on Scotland’s future is well and truly joined.