AN independent Scotland would face “near-total economic collapse” like that seen in Venezuela and Zimbabwe under the SNP’s plans, Douglas Ross has claimed.

The Scottish Conservative leader claimed "hundreds of thousands of people [could be] fleeing" the country after a Yes vote due to the lack of economic plans in place.

In an article published by the Scottish Daily Mail, Ross said that the economic prospectus published by the First Minister on Monday had “no credible answers to some of the most basic questions”.

The paper was the third in the “Building a New Scotland” series seeking to lay out the framework for an independent Scotland. It dealt with economic questions such as border plans, rejoining the EU, and currency.

READ MORE: Commentators have their say on the new Scottish independence paper

The “stronger economy with independence” paper said that a Scottish Central Bank would be set up and the pound sterling used as currency during a transition period.

Once this central bank had “established its credibility” and other criteria met, the Scottish Parliament would decide when to create a Scottish pound.

Criticising Nicola Sturgeon’s plans, Ross claimed - without evidence - it would leave the Scottish economy at risk of “near-total” collapse, comparing it to nations such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

He wrote: “Currently, the Bank of England is the central bank for the whole of the UK, with operational independence but a remit to keep within guidelines set by government.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon

“Whether or not the SNP sets up something that it calls a central bank, without the power to issue currency it would have no ability to introduce quantitative easing, adjust interest rates, offer to buy gilts or issue bonds, or any of the other necessary levers to maintain stability.

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“Indeed, if an independence referendum went their way, the SNP would make Scotland a foreign country and the Bank would have no interest in or responsibility for doing anything to protect Scottish finances, while any prospective Scottish central bank would have no power to do anything at all. The whole of Scotland's economy would be rudderless.

“It's clear what that would mean. At national level, everything from macroeconomic policy to exports to inward investment, and at a personal one, everything from your mortgage rate, your pension and the price of food would have no effective safeguards.

“We've seen what can happen in countries from Zimbabwe to Venezuela. If even the UK, one of the world's five or six largest economies and a leading member of the G7, can have a serious economic reaction; the lesson from those nations is that, without the power to correct it, the outcome can be hyperinflation and hundreds of thousands of people fleeing near-total economic collapse.”

READ MORE: Douglas Ross says he STILL has 'confidence' in the UK Government

The Scottish Tory leader insisted his comments were “in no way talking Scotland down”, saying it was the SNP’s plans he doubted, not the strength of the country.

Ross said the economic paper was “back-of-a-fag-packet stuff that you couldn't even dignify by calling a plan”.

Europe Minister Neil Gray (below) used the same language to describe the UK Government’s planning for Brexit in an interview on Tuesday morning, saying it was “not possible” to compare it to the Scottish Government’s independence plans.

The National:

“We have produced already three prospectus papers, we’ve got more to come in the series, where we’re setting out the case to the people of Scotland, giving them the information so they can make an informed choice,” the SNP MSP said on Good Morning Scotland.

“It’s not possible to compare the well-informed choice that people in Scotland are going to make over independence with the back-of-a-fag-packet case that was presented to people before the Brexit referendum.”

He added: “We’ve got a plan not just to put to the people of Scotland in terms of a choice to make, but also one that would inform our state building after a Yes vote in an independence referendum.”