A commission focused on ways to grow Scotland’s economy in the wake of the Brexit vote has been formed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The 14-member panel includes Mark Shaw, chief executive of property developer Hazledene, which was behind the development of the iQ building on Justice Mill Lane.
The panel will be chaired by Andrew Wilson, a former SNP MP and now managing partner of public affairs firm, Charlotte Street Partners.
Ms Sturgeon, to whom the commission will report directly, said: “Scotland is a wealthy country with resources and talents that many other countries can only dream about. The challenge, however, lies in closing the gap between our potential and the reality.
“We want to strengthen our foundations and seek to identify the very best opportunities for Scotland’s economy to flourish.
“I’m delighted to announce the membership of our party’s Growth Commission – with leading economists, some of Scotland’s most successful business people and current and former politicians offering their experience and insight on how best we grow our economy.
“With a background in politics and a keen understanding of our economy Andrew Wilson is well placed to chair this Commission and to bring new ideas to the debate on how we reach our full potential.
“The Commission’s work will inform our thinking in the here and now – how we sustain growth during the period of uncertainty caused by Brexit – but will also examine projections for Scotland’s finances and proposals for growth in the context of independence. That work will include considering policies to grow the economy and reduce Scotland’s deficit and looking at the monetary arrangements which would best underpin a strategy for sustainable growth.
Mr Wilson said: “It is a privilege for me to chair this outstanding group of people on such a challenging and important topic.
“We will give it our all and engage the best talent and minds we can to support and test our work. It is my sincere hope that should Scotland be asked to choose again on independence, this project ensures that we all have as sound, transparent and firm a prospectus as any country facing such a choice has ever had.
“Just as important, I hope the work can help the SNP deliver the policies and leadership that are needed now to secure the productivity, growth and competitiveness that we need, delivering sustainable funding for quality public services.
“We need to think ambitiously, inclusively and differently. It is time for substance and respect in our debate – people in this country have not had enough of experts, that much is certain.”
Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch also joins the panel, which includes economis Prof Andrew Hughes Hallet, businessman Dan McDonald, finance minister Derek MacKay and
former enterprise minister Jim Mather.