Alistair Darling
Chancellor Alistair Darling will present evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Economic Committee about independenceReuters

The Scottish Parliament's Economic Committee has drafted in a long line of heavyweight witnesses to give evidence over the potential impact independence will have on the country's economy should Scotland decide to break away from the UK.

On 19 February this year, former UK chancellor Alistair Darling, Treasury secretary Danny Alexander, Scotland's deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, and finance minister John Swinney will tell the panel about how they see independence impacting the Scottish economy, should voters opt to leave the UK in September 2014.

"This inquiry deals with issues at the heart of the debate about our constitution," said Murdo Fraser, MSP and convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.

"We hope that by hearing from senior witnesses that are expert in their field, we provide a platform for debate on some of the major issues that are currently dominating media headlines."

After the political officials have given evidence, a number of influential business figures will be questioned on 26 February.

These include Rupert Soames of Aggreko, Maitland Mackie of Mackie's of Scotland, Ben Thomson of investment group Inverleith Capital and Jim McColl of Clyde Blowers.

On 5 March, members of think tanks and other research bodies will present their opinions.

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, which released a report in November 2013 on the funding challenges an independent Scotland, will testify in front of the panel.

Similarly, Crawford Beveridge, chair of the Fiscal Commission, a body of independent economic experts appointed by the Scottish government, will also be quizzed by the committee.

Sir John Gieve, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England will give evidence on the question of monetary policy along with Professor Ronald MacDonald at the University of Glasgow.

Details of these consultations will be aired on 12 March.