SCOTLAND could be fully independent by 2026, the architect of the SNP’s Growth Commission has claimed. 

But Andrew Wilson has warned that it could take up to 10 years after independence for the introduction of a Scottish pound, and 25 years until the country “is as good as a society as somewhere like Denmark.”

In an interview with the Herald on Sunday, the former MSP also suggested that in the transition period after a Yes vote, a “council of the country” should be pulled together to lead negotiations, saying Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling could have a role to play “in making good the decision of independence.”

Not all SNP politicians were happy with Wilson's timescales. 

Angus MacNeil, the MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar tweeted: "The life chances of many folk cannot have us havering for years."

He pointed out that the SNP conference had voted to replace the pound with a separate Scottish currency "as soon as practicable".

But in his interview, Wilson said practicable was not the same as immediately. 

Instead, Scotland would need to “accept that we don’t have monetary sovereignty for the first period after independence,” he said.

“After all, we don’t have it now,” he said. “We’d have all other powers. The monetary policy situation that we have now would continue until such a time that it’s no longer in our interests”.

He added: “We’ve big integration with the rest of the UK – mortgages, pension, wages. So if you were to say right from day one that we’ve our own currency, then you don’t know what’s going to happen to your pay, your pension.

"It’s risky towards the economy and also politically risky because people would be uncertain and we’d spend the whole referendum campaign talking about what would happen to mortgages and pensions – and therefore having a referendum on what would happen in the first few weeks, rather than over the next 25 years.”

Wilson told the paper that a new Scottish pound could be achieved in “five to 10 years” and warned that rushing it could “be short-term risky, politically difficult, and it would make the cost of government borrowing more expensive.”

He said that independence would be long, hard work. 

“If we’re striving to be as good as a society as somewhere like Denmark, it could take a generation – 20 or 25 years,” he said.

"To not say this would be to not tell the truth … The message needs to be ‘this will take time and hard work, but it’ll be worth it’.”

However, he also claimed there would be quick wins, with the “very act of creating a new country” attracting investment.

He said the strategy for independence campaigners has to be “to tell the truth and win the argument … paint a truthful picture of how we can earn the right to a better society by hard work over time”. 

Wilson added: “The tone has to be right, we need to be seen by the rest of the world and the UK as the opposite of those prosecuting the case for Brexit … Most people are open to persuasion if they’re properly engaged and treated with respect.

“I respect those who take on arguments. I lose interest if someone just puts a badge on their opponent and shouts at that badge. That shows they don’t have much going for them in terms of argument. If you’re attacking a person it’s a good sign you’ve lost the argument.”

Wilson has also repeated calls made in the Growth Commission’s report for an “annual solidarity payment going from Scotland to the UK to make good our inherited obligations”. 

The rest of the UK, would need to know that “we’d contribute a share of the national debt interest ongoing” he said.

Wilson believes Scotland could be fully independent by 2026. “We’re looking at the bulk of the process completed in the term of the next Scottish Parliament, by which I mean getting a vote, winning a vote, and securing the negotiations.”