EVER since Nicola Sturgeon launched the national “conversation” on independence in September 2016 urging Scotland to “control its own destiny”, those who supported the belief that we should stand on our own two feet have been crying out for a new, positive case for Yes.

As part of that drive the First Minister announced the creation of the Growth Commission, chaired by Andrew Wilson, a former SNP MSP and founding partner of an Edinburgh-based communications and lobbying firm, Charlotte Street Partners.

Sturgeon acknowledged that choosing independence would be a “big decision” in the wake of the Brexit vote and that there would be many issues for people to weigh up. She added that she did not presume the case has yet been won.

That commission filed its final report on Friday not so much with fanfare and celebration but in an almost muted manner. And those hoping that the difficult questions surrounding currency, European Union membership and banking would be answered in this report will be somewhat disappointed.

The report concedes that Scotland may have to use the pound for up to 10 years without a formal pact with the UK, leaving the country at the mercy of fluctuations in the Bank of England base rate.

It also notably steers clear of the prickly issue of Brexit while taking Scotland’s rich oil resources out of the main economic calculations, instead preferring to see it as an added extra.

But while all this might seem fairly sober, negative even, as we report today a number of top economists and historians believe it is precisely this kind of calm, confident assessment of our own country that could have carried the day during the independence referendum in 2014.

Professor Tom Devine, one of Scotland’s leading historians, said: “If the process had gone on for a further week, we might have had a narrow majority for Yes. If it’s [the vote] on a knife edge this document [the Growth Commission report] would be much more convincing intellectually [for people]. I do think it would have made a difference.”

This is significant because it was precisely this kind of honest reflection that those who opposed independence four years ago slated the Yes movement for not recognising.

Whether this type of honest, grown-up debate filters through into the public discourse that has been so divisive of late remains to be seen.