AYR'S MSP says a new Scottish Government paper shows that independence for Scotland is essential for a better future for Ayr - but critics have labelled parts of the vision "inevitably damaging".

The paper, 'A Stronger Economy With Independence', sets out the economic case for independence.

As well as addressing key questions on currency, fiscal sustainability and trade, the paper sets out the government's case for Scotland re-joining the EU, embedding greater workers’ rights, and creating a migration policy tailored to Scotland’s unique needs.

Siobhian Brown, the SNP's MSP for Ayr, said: "This paper makes it absolutely clear that independence is essential for Scotland to become a better and more equal economy that benefits all of the people living in Ayr, Prestwick, and Troon and right across our country.

"Right now, people, families and organisations in our community are facing another round of austerity cuts as a consequence of Westminster control.

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"This is set to damage our public services, push more people into poverty, and put additional - in some cases, devastating- pressures on businesses.

"We know that Scotland can do so much better - with good, stable governance, we can build a wellbeing economy that works for everyone.

"We've got what it takes - we've got the assets, talents and resources that can allow us to develop a stronger, greener, fairer, more open, and more dynamic economy as an independent country.

"The choice for the people of Scotland is whether to continue suffering under a less productive and highly unequal UK economy or seize the opportunities that independence gives us to create a prosperous, sustainable, fair and more equal economy that benefits all of the people living here."

However, South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth said: “At a time families are already facing economic chaos, the SNP want to hit people with even more turmoil.

“This paper fails to say how an independent Scotland would plug the huge public spending shortfall between the taxes we raise in Scotland and the current level of spending which the Scottish Government’s own figures reveals is £23.7 billion - a £2,184 per person devolution dividend.

Ayr Advertiser: Labour MSP Colin SmythLabour MSP Colin Smyth (Image: Labour MSP Colin Smyth)

"As independent economists have already said, we would need tax rises and spending cuts.

“The confirmation of border checks between Scotland and England is unsurprising and inevitably damaging.

"The rest of the UK accounts for 60 per cent of Scottish businesses' market so any barriers would be bad news for Scottish businesses and jobs, especially in an area like South Scotland, where cross border trade happens every single minute of the day.”