NO-ONE should underestimate the enormity of the decision SNP members are being asked to make about currency at their spring conference. With such a momentous choice to be made, we should all want it to be the best choice, informed by incisive debate and very careful scrutiny.

And yet it is hard to argue that this is happening. Many serious questions have been posed about the Growth Commission proposals, but no answers have come. There is so much contained in the motion the party is being asked to approve that it is impossible to explore even the main points in the time allocated at conference.

READ MORE: Andrew Wilson: Growth Commission delivered the case we need to win independence

Members are being asked to back an experimental currency option which has never been used by any advanced, exporting economy in modern history. It is being asked to agree to be locked into this currency option by adopting six tests it will be extremely painful to meet – if they can be met at all.

It contains a “solidarity payment”, which overstates the debt Scotland should accept and then locks us into paying for the interest of that debt forever, without ever being able to pay the debt off. And it locks Scotland permanently into the UK’s economic model.

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The one thing that it does not put on the table is a Scottish currency – only an annual check on the six tests. Most economists believe this package will seriously harm Scotland’s ability to be successful post-independence by adopting new and different policies.

We’ve already seen Unionists starting to pick holes in the case, of which there are many. Can we really afford to wait until after this is policy before it comes under proper scrutiny – by our opponents?

Can Scotland’s future really be shaped fundamentally and for a generation after only a short debate at party conference? When will the motion’s proposers engage with serious questions about what they propose? Is this serious economics or just a loyalty test?

There are so many big questions. It locks in climate change and prevents a Green New Deal. It will certainly mean permanent downwards pressure on public spending and almost certainly austerity. It leaves us largely reliant on Westminster and the London finance markets.

But here are 10 questions which are particularly crucial.

THERE are only four countries which use the proposed money system – Panama, Ecuador, Montenegro and Lichtenstein. Why should Scotland become the fifth? No advanced economy (like Scotland’s) has ever used this money system in modern history. Why should Scotland become the first?

IF there was any major economic shock while we were sterlingised (such as a financial crisis in London), what would we do? Without control over interest rates, money creation or liquidity and with no scope for fiscal stimulus, would our economy not be utterly devastated?

THE six tests include halving the public sector deficit, shaping tax and spend to please international bankers, decoupling from the UK economic cycle and creating foreign currency reserves from thin air. To vote to start a currency in the first parliamentary term of an independent Scotland these tests would need to be met in three years. That’s impossible, isn’t it?

The National: Keith Brown

IN fact, Keith Brown says a currency could be voted for in a couple of years after a Yes vote while Andrew Wilson says it would take much longer (at least 10 years before even starting). A minimum of 10 years is much more likely, isn’t it?

ASSUMING it takes three or four years after a vote to introduce the currency, that means no currency for 15 years. But you can’t join the European Union until you’ve had your own currency for three years. Have we given up on EU membership for two decades or is there a feasible plan for joining if we’re sterlingised?

ANDREW Wilson has written that our own currency or a formal currency union are the best options for an independent Scotland. So why is he proposing the worst option? Keith Brown has said an independent Scotland needs to control its own monetary policy. So why does his motion propose the opposite?

IS it wise for Scotland to signal in advance (£3 billion) how much it is going to pay as a contribution to UK debt costs? Does this not completely undermine any negotiating position? Why does it propose a system where Scotland will be paying costs for debt “indefinitely” but will never be able to pay off the debt? Why is so much emphasis put on sharing foreign aid budgets and shared services “for an extended period?” Why not set up Scottish systems?

THE motion commits Scotland to shrink its public sector as a proportion of the economy to keep overseas moneylenders happy. How do Yes activists sell cuts to public services on the doorstep? Why is a sharp shift to the right an attractive option for centre-left Scotland?

WHATEVER else this motion does, one thing it absolutely guarantees is uncertainty – at the time of a second indyref it will be at least five years before we know what currency we’ll use and it is much more likely we won’t know for 10 or more years. Is this much economic uncertainty not just an open goal for our opponents? Is it not bad for our economy?

10 WHAT happens if the SNP isn’t the biggest party in a Scottish Parliament after independence? Having our own currency is so central to being an independent country, why are we giving Unionist politicians a potential veto? If a majority can’t be achieved in parliament, will Scotland be condemned to this unstable currency system forever?

But all of these just show the major weaknesses in the case being put to the SNP membership. There is a bigger and more fundamental question: why don’t we just adopt a Scottish currency as our policy?

How do six tests help? Why does delaying for five (or more likely ten plus) years help? If a currency is our best option (as the report author concedes) and having control of monetary policy is crucial for an independent currency (as the motion’s author concedes), why are we doing the opposite?

This is a question so fundamental that we simply cannot afford to get this wrong.

Can advocates of the Growth Commission give persuasive answers to these questions?

Or is the strategy for SNP members to make this momentous decision in the dark?