REMAINING in the UK is “economically high-risk” for Scotland, the former SNP MSP who chaired the Sustainable Growth Commission has warned.

In a new article, former SNP MSP Andrew Wilson – who served in Holyrood between 1999 and 2003 – has explained Scotland would be the richest nation ever to vote for its independence if it were to do so.

Writing in the magazine Perspective, he outlined the positives of leaving the UK and rejoining the EU, but acknowledged there would be “challenges” in rejoining the bloc.

The former politician cautioned against a post-independence austerity programme and instead said the Scottish Government should invest in the transition to net-zero and recovery from Covid-19.

The National: Growth Commission chair Andrew Wilson has explained the benefits of independence Growth Commission chair Andrew Wilson has explained the benefits of independence

“It stands to reason that if Brexit is problematic for Britain’s trade, then Scotland returning to the EU will create challenges,” Wilson wrote. “The difference of course is that if Brexit is a choice to exit the benefits of the single market, independence would be a choice to return to them.

“Transitional challenges will therefore be about benefits sought rather than departed from in Brexit.

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“Scots have the choice of independence and a return to the European Union. Not choosing that would be economically high-risk.

“The process will not be simple; it will be hard work and take effort, but, like most acts of self-improvement, it will also be satisfying and meaningful.

“Of course it will be challenging, but it will be worth it.”

The National: 25/09/2021 Picture Duncan McGlynn +447771370263. Around 5,000 people from Independence group All Under One Banner marched though Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, Scotland towards the Scottish Parliament to protest for Scottish Independence.

Ensuring independence is successful, Wilson added, will depend largely on decisions made after separation, but the issue for voters will be if Scotland is more likely to make good economic decisions as an independent country than the UK Government would be able to on its behalf.

“If Scotland makes bad choices the country won’t achieve its potential,” he wrote.

“The question is whether it’s more likely to get the policy mix right on its own than as part of the UK, with a government it doesn’t support.

“Policies it would make as an independent country include a pro-migration stance agreed across all the parties in Scotland, in contrast to the approach of the UK Home Office.

“The economic imperative for this in Scotland is clear, as is political consent.”