Detailed reports by respected entities like Oxford Economics (attached to this article) do not generally take political sides or constitutional perspectives. They offer a sober view of the real world, inviting the reader to consider conclusions drawn, and reach their own assessment of the facts. You have to read the details, and read between the lines.
What emerges from the report is a clear picture of over a decade of Scottish Government economic policy failures, failures that are essentially the creation of the incompetent SNP administrations of the last 14 years.
Failure to achieve the necessary levels of productivity growth.
Failure to achieve the levels of inward investment that would have helped to transform the Scottish economy - rather than see much of it being sold off to foreign buyers with little interest in sustainable development.
Failure to support start-ups properly, and failure to help those start-ups that do survive to then scale up, grow and thrive.
Failure to create an enterprise-friendly environment which recognises the absolute need for successful businesses as the real engine of the Scottish economy.
Although some blame must attach to the last Labour government for the total devastation it had created in the UK financial position by the time it was thrown out of office in 2010, devastation it has taken years to repair, the sad reality for Scotland is that the SNP government could, with the unified approach available to it under the Devolved powers, have taken a much more successful path. But Salmond and Sturgeon instead chose to pursue ideologically-driven separatist policies that have made Scotland a much riskier place to do business in than most other parts of the UK and Europe. For businesses, uncertainty is generally toxic. Yes, there is always some uncertainty in doing business, but what you do not need is the Scottish Government constantly pushing to drive up that uncertainty - and drive up the costs of doing business. For the last 14 years anyone doing business in Scotland could not be sure what the future basis of that business would be: what currency would it be based upon, and what new punitive tax changes would it face from a spendthrift Nationalist administration that wasted taxpayers' money with abandon on failed projects and a divisive referendum?
If creating a toxic ideological and uncertain business environment was not bad enough, Scottish Government economic policies under the SNP have been contradictory, confused, incoherent and inept. Local Government decisions have been overturned in droves by SNP ministers, some with subsequent allegations of sleaze surrounding donations to the SNP. Deals signed-off by second-rate SNP Ministers to secure investment appear to have been done with nothing like the due diligence required, leaving the Scottish taxpayer on the hook for hundreds of millions with little or nothing to show for it. Infrastructure spending has been incoherent, piecemeal, and targeted in ways that the term 'pork-barrel spending' seems appropriate. And be in no doubt here: these were all problems that SNP ministers either chose to create or did so through sheer incompetence.
The UK Government has already made it clear that huge investment in Scotland is a key part of its economic plans for the next decade. It has already identified the many problems, challenges and opportunities that the Oxford Economics report has set out. What is unequivocally clear now is that tearing Scotland out of the UK, with the huge economic, social and constitutional problems that would create, is quite simply not going to address any of Scotland's economic problems. On the contrary; the economic shock that the SNP wants to impose upon Scotland by divisive separatism would crush any hopes of Scottish GDP growth for a generation. The Oxford Economics report shows just how much Scotland needs to do to keep pace with the rest of the UK, never mind catch up with Scandinavian economies. Another five years of SNP mismanagement on top of yet more toxic separatist uncertainty will ensure only one thing: Scottish GDP will continue to lag behind comparable nations and leave the Scottish people poorer, perhaps much, much poorer.