Until recently, I thought we had forgotten the importance of our economy.

It seemed that the economy of our country and the prosperity of its people had taken second place to other agendas.

In Britain, the Brexit debate has become about sovereignty and immigration; in Scotland political debate is also about sovereignty, but also about fairness and equality; indeed in the USA it has become about Russian intervention and unfair trade.

Recent figures have been promising - the Scottish economy grew by 0.4% in the first three months of the year, and in comparison to the same three-month period of last year, GDP grew by 1.3%.

However, it is clear to me that if we don’t make growing the economy our number one focus, many of the other points on the political agenda become meaningless.

A government leader or minister can’t spend any money on policy and implementation of legislation until that money has been earned, and we cannot create a future of fairness, wellness and general prosperity without any tools.

First and foremost, the political debate should be about building economic success, and the steps we need to take to ensure we create a viable economy for the whole of Scotland. The secondary debate about how we spend money is of lesser interest to business – this is where we make our individual political choices. However, without the first we don’t have the luxury of making secondary options.

I must wonder, if there had been a more obvious focus on the economy before the Brexit vote took place, would the people of Britain still have voted to leave?

Andrew Wilson’s Growth Commission report is welcome in one sense, as it does put the economy as number one for the health of Scotland. That is crucial, no matter what constitutional format you favour. Pro UK group These Islands lambasted the report when it was released this summer, claiming that while it was objectively more optimistic than the 2014 Independence White Paper, it didn’t seem any more realistic.

The fact is though, that Scotland currently trades 3.6 times more with the rest of the UK than with the EU, and the Growth Commission’s failure to consider the potential impact of trade-friction with the rest of the UK for Scottish jobs and economic performance, or broader economic shocks caused by separation, is an oversight.

However, the key focus should not be about nationalism or unionism for Scotland. The real achievement would lie in a Government that works to create the conditions for greater economic growth to raise our standard of living and better fund our public services.

Surely the confusion of priorities in the report suggests that the discussion around the Scottish economy must be paramount, as the future of Scotland’s finances depend on it.

Business is largely agnostic when it comes to politics – except where it hinders or helps directly, but we all want the economy to be number one by all parties and some real attention and innovation focused on developing and improving it.

That is true of Cabinet and Ministerial teams, so it was encouraging to see in the latest re-shuffle by the First Minister that Finance and the Economy were at long last reunited at Cabinet level, and the team below strengthened to focus on Trade, Investment and Innovation; as well as Business and Internationalisation. If the message of “we must earn money before we spend it” pervades all departments, then this re-shuffle can send out the right message.

We must now follow up with some concrete action on start-ups and skills and investment to ensure that the impetus is not lost.

David Watt is executive director of the Institute of Directors in Scotland.