IT goes without saying and yet probably bears repeating: that the UK’s approach to exiting the European Union is a case study in “how not to do it”. Pretty much for any “it” you might care to think of.

How not to leave a union, how not to manage a change in relationship, how not to treat your partners, how not to comport oneself in the international community, how not to secure your own best interests, how not to unify a country behind a decision, how not to protect jobs and business investment, how not to secure growth, how not to save scarce public resources, how not to negotiate, how not to secure mutual advantage through negotiation, how not to paint a picture of why the transition is worth the effort, how not to protect hard won peace and security, I could, you will have gathered, go on, and on, and on.

The list could be as unending a sentence as Jonathan Coe’s English language record breaker in The Rotter’s Club of 13,955 words. James Joyce came a not-so-close second with 4391 in Ulysses. That one from me was a mere 113 words.

It is a case study that merits very close scrutiny from all of us who wish to see Scotland secure a different and more sustainable independent relationship with the rest of the UK, Ireland, Europe and the wider world. Some of the lessons seem reasonably obvious, others will benefit from further research and reflection from Angus Robertson and the team at Progress Scotland.

READ MORE: Angus Robertson: Progress Scotland will help win independence

The first and most striking lesson is that you need a prospectus and a rigorous plan for what you want to achieve. The 2014 referendum had an almost 650-page White Paper. It wasn’t strong enough to win and circumstances have changed fundamentally.

But it was at least a prospectus and stands in sharp contrast to the Brexit process for which there was no prospectus, no vision, no plan – as the president of the European Council Donald Tusk pointed out so pointedly.

The lack of such a plan, the narrowness of the margin of victory and the weakness of the Government in Parliament, and every other sense, have all combined to create a dreadfully bad position of historic, inter-generational self-harm.

The reality is that all change of such significance in any organisation, let alone a major country, is a process rather than an event. Transitions take time as issues are worked through, new institutions built, agreements struck, and strategies put into place and then into action.

A new Scottish White Paper will require to learn many lessons from 2014, what has happened since and what is going so comprehensively wrong with Brexit.

The report of the Sustainable Growth Commission was designed to answer a brief to think through all of these points. It does not shirk the difficult questions and seeks to provide a sound framework and straight and honest answers. In doing so it seeks a prospectus that can unify a settled will behind Scotland’s next step along our “journey without end”.

READ MORE: Andrew Wilson: We need to ask the independence question when Scots are ready

It is going through a policy process with its commissioning organisation, the SNP, now. What it does not pretend to do is list every policy for every party manifesto for the elections that would follow independence. The whole point of independence is that the people of Scotland will elect their own choice of government every time and they will govern to a platform that won them the election.

What it does do is set out a framework for how to negotiate for mutual advantage with the rest of the UK, how to manage a transition to a new country and how to secure jobs and our economic self-interest in the meantime. It provides, the commission believes, the necessary foundations for the new country based on principles and strategies learned from the most successful small countries in the world.

The National:

Scotland can learn from Theresa May's dealings with EU chiefs

Some (a very small number) would rather move immediately and overnight to a Marxist revolutionary state. That is their right, but they won’t win the chance to try. Others would rather the transition was faster, bolder and easier. This much I understand, all of us would love Rome to be built in a day. But the lesson of Brexit is that honesty, candour and a realistic vision is more likely to both succeed and promote our own best interests.

Currency is one good example of this. Having thought about it long and hard for more than 18 months and taken advice from the best experts we could find in the world, we reached the solution we did.

That is, Scotland will start with the existing arrangements and then, in time, will have its own currency when its Central Bank reports to its Parliament that the six tests we set out have been passed. This question could be examined every year in a report to Parliament.

In simple terms, passing the tests means it will be in the interests of our economy, trade, government and public finances and therefore services, citizens, jobs and employers to create a new Scottish currency.

READ MORE: Andrew Wilson: Progress Scotland can be a crucial as 2014 case for UK falls apart

Why do it before it is in our interests? We believe that substance and people’s welfare matter many times more than symbolism. A cursory glance at some of the world’s worst performing countries now and in history teaches us that lesson – as does a deeper look at those like Denmark, Finland and New Zealand, who have managed to get the balance right.

In other areas, like international aid, we seek an enduring relationship for the transition period, continuing to fund UK programmes until we are ready to launch our own.

In financial negotiation we offer a means to secure our responsibilities and obligations to the rest of the UK in an Annual Solidarity Payment meeting our fair share of debt interest, aid payments and other shared services. Compare and contrast with the UK tone to Europe.

In the parlance of Brexit, we offer the softest of possible changes to the current arrangements, not the hardest. We recognise the level of integration and all the ties that have bound us for centuries. We create a platform that can unify a majority for progress that stands a chance of winning and winning big. In doing so it offers a means of creating strong and sustainable foundations for the 194th member of the UN.

The beauty of building strong foundations is that policy architects can then develop the design of our new home as future generations see fit. If and when we are offered the chance to choose once more, we will do so with more information, certainty, existing institutions and a plan than any of the 193 UN members that preceded us. Scotland would expect no less. It could be the making of us all.