AS the tattered shreds of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal still swirled in the London air, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stood before her Westminster group last week and confirmed that her plan for a second independence referendum would be confirmed in “a matter of weeks”.

What that plan will resemble, and what the timetable will be has not been confirmed. The FM remains tight-lipped.

Jump too soon and the chaos engulfing political discourse in Westminster could prove to be infectious and throttle the momentum from an independence campaign. Leave it too late, and the prospect of facing a UK Government in no fit state to fight could slip from Sturgeon’s grasp.

The question of timing is the subject of much fevered debate. While only Sturgeon’s answer truly matters, the wider Yes movement’s views are interesting at the very least.

With the First Minister’s announcement fast approaching, the Sunday National issued a rallying cry to Yessers the length and breadth of the country to ask them what the next steps towards an independence campaign should be.

From the isle of Skye to the nation’s capital, commentators, supporters and campaigners for Scottish independence returned views unified by a common message: First Minister – we are ready when you are.

Pat Kane:

FOR me, the one lesson for the independence movement from Brexit is that there’s a lot of strategic room between the “indy lite” offer of 2014, and the buccaneering chaos of Brexit 2016-2019. What Brexit makes thinkable – even as it crudely blunders about – is a Scotland becoming independent first, and finding out its best relationship with EU and the world second.

In indyref2, we won’t be subverted – as we were in indyref1 – by resting our case for indy on a Westminster’s willingness (eg, the “sterling zone”). We can now think of our independence as a journey with a range of viable options, which “we, the people” control and shape.

The Sustainable Growth Commission might be being timorous in proposing sterlingisation as the long, maybe unending route to a separate currency. But they’ve been brave, and done us a service, by calculating the economic options without relying on oil and gas prices to make up differences and gaps. Will all this pull a decent 15-20% extra of our fellow Scots over the line to join the 45%? I hope so, but I really haven’t a clue. However, after the horrific and dispiriting grind of the last few years of Brexit, I’m up for any period of idealistic Caledonian optimism, thank you very much. C’mon Scotland!

Wee Ginger Dug:

WE need clarity on what the strategy will be. A General Election is less likely, as is a EU referendum, going by the reports about Corbyn’s cabinet. It is highly unlikely that Theresa May will grant a Section 30 as well, so the FM has to set out a plan to ensure Scotland still has a voice.

Theresa May is not a woman to be negotiated with – she operates by ultimatums. The FM should give her an ultimatum and I think that granting a Section 30 would be one of the only ways that Theresa May can maintain this illusion of a union of equals. But it would be a mistake to wait too long. There is a limit to what the movement can do without political clarity from the higher levels. Most people need a reason to engage.

Women for Independence:

WOMEN for Independence are looking forward to indyref2 and we are ready to go. We are an active campaigning organisation with a Scotland wide network of local groups making a difference in women’s lives now whilst campaigning as we believe that an independent Scotland is the best way to improve the lives of women.

We the National Committee of Women for Independence have been consulting with our members over the past year towards the development of our “Womanifesto” which is our asks and demands to to achieving independence for women within our movement and moving forward, the kind of country we want to live in.

This will be launched in the spring and will form our main campaigning documents. In the meantime we have been focussing on turning No to Yes, bearing in mind that some women over 50 were a group which in 2014 were difficult to engage with positively over independence.

Obviously any referendum will be post-Brexit should the Brexit date remain on schedule. There has been a material change in circumstances and a choice now seems to be clear. A fork in the road where the choice is obvious, remain part of a UK hurtling further and further into Brexit chaos or an independent Scotland that is free to remain part of the EU moving forwards.

We in the National Committee are very keen for a referendum asap but at the very least, we feel it should be called before any EU citizens lose their rights to live and work in our country.

When the First Minister talked at our recent AGM she made it very clear that anyreferendum must be legal and accepted by the international community. We in WFI echo that view and support the First Minister. That said, WFI stand stand ready to go as soon as the starting gun is fired.

Robin McAlpine, director, Common Weal:

I THINK we have to accept that, for a number of reasons, we can no longer realistically get a referendum before 2021. We have got to plan really well and get the campaign machine working. We need strong answers to the questions we will be asked. This “independence first, ask questions later” approach isn’t going to work with the Brexit-sceptic swithering No-voter.

If we care about independence, we will take them seriously. It shouldn’t be a leap of faith for these people, they need to take a step with confidence.

Dave Thompson, vice convener, Scottish Independence Convention

WE need to appeal to soft No-voters in order to swing the polls around. In order to get them to come over, the messaging has to be different.

We have been canvassing on this and will know exactly what the key issues are for these voters by the end of March.

Even if we change the minds of 5%, it will reverse the result of 2014.

Lesley Riddoch:

WHAT the indy movement needs above all is a clear, definite indication of timescale and strategy to achieve a Section 30 order for indyref2. Last week’s half-announcement by the SNP leader was a rather strange, underwhelming way to kickstart the long-awaited campaign – a whole-hearted announcement is needed so activists can plan and a pledge to work with the wider Yes movement from here on in. I would be happier if the SNP and SIC had worked together on a plan but since that hasn’t happened, we will have to play it by ear.

I hope the SNP leadership is daring enough to grab whatever opportunities arise to trade support for a Brexit-avoiding strategy at Westminster for a promise to allow the Scottish Parliament a Section 30 when it asks for one.

Blair Jenkins, chief executive, Yes Campaign 2012-14:

TIMING is crucial and that has to be the First Minister’s call. She will have better information in front of her than anyone else who is offering an opinion. Nicola’s mandate is only watertight if Brexit is actually going ahead. As of today, that looks likely but by no means certain. In my view, while there remains any realistic chance of stopping Brexit from happening, it would be premature to call a Scottish referendum.

When we know for sure that Scotland is heading unwillingly out of the EU – and that is likely to become obvious in the next few weeks – then I believe Nicola will wish to move quickly to exercise her very clear mandate.

It will be a much shorter campaign this time. And the Yes movement starts from a much better position than it did in 2012, with all the greater knowledge and strength we gained from the first referendum. My sense of things from lots of conversations is that the Brexit vote has opened many more minds to the prospect of Scottish independence. As we saw in 2013 and 2014, that kind of gradual movement in people’s thinking is not picked up for a long time by the traditional binary opinion polls.

When the FM does fire the starting pistol, I’m in no doubt the Yes campaign will demonstrate all of the energy and enthusiasm it did last time round – and probably even more. I’m confident we will win. I’m looking forward to it.

Yes 2 East Kilbride:

I THINK we should be canvassing within the next few weeks. We should get around a minimum of 3000 doors in each area, share resources, and find out demographics, who will vote indy; if they will vote indy if Brexit is no-deal or Brexit poor-deal; what media do they watch/read. For No voters, we need to find out what their concerns are.

Edinburgh Yes Hub:

IT is a very hard question to answer because on one hand it would be nice if Yes Groups and supporters were working as one, yet on the other hand not doing so gives the movement a wider look. We are sitting on our hands waiting for the second referendum. and when that happens, I hope that we can generate the same wonderful enthusiasm as in 2014, but this time with better support services. Until then we must speak to as many of those sitting on the fence and show them a small country like Scotland can thrive.

Yes Dunbar:

WE should trust Nicola and the SNP leadership’s judgment. I think people who are saying leadership is failing by not announcing indyref2 now are incorrect and premature. We risk playing hostage to fortune due to what might develop with Brexit in next couple of weeks.

Dundee and Angus Independence Group:

LIKE many others in the independence movement, the Dundee and Angus independence group has been hard at work for some time now speaking to people, trying to get them to think about how independence could improve their lives.

As we get closer to the next referendum I would see us stepping up our efforts, getting out to speak to more people: more events, more stalls and persuading them.

We also need to think about what we are saying. We should not be scaring them silly with the prospect of Scotland shackled to the union, horrible though that is. Instead we need to get them to lift their eyes and think about the things that we could achieve as an independent Scotland – a fairer, more equal and kinder society. Research shows us that the most effective way of persuading people is to offer them hope and that is what our job should be this year – giving people the hope that comes with an independent Scotland.

Aberdeen Independence Movement:

THE independence movement needs to move on from 2014. We are at a stage where a referendum is increasingly likely and in order to unlock our dream of independence, localism is the key. Local groups working closely within a specific area will appeal far more than focusing directly on a national campaign.

Kenny Maclaren – Yes Paisley:

IT’S time to up the campaign for our independence, chapping doors, talking to voters and promoting a positive vision of the people of Scotland running our own affairs. We’ve got a clueless UK Prime Minister with an ineffectual main opposition leader both supporting Brexit, even though we know the referendum was rigged and electoral rules were broken.

This highlights the lack of real democracy in the UK where the two main parties would rather implement a dodgy election result than allow the people to have their say. It doesn’t look like there will be another General Election too soon, but if there is then the SNP has to put independence at the heart of its manifesto and state that a majority of independence-supporting MPs in Scotland signals immediate talks for Scotland becoming independent. Let’s not waste time on Brexit, let’s focus on building up support for Scottish independence.

Yes Skye & Lochalsh:

WE have range of opinions. There a consensus that it would be preferable that the referendum would take place within the next few months. But also that we are not in possession of all the information needed to make that decision. No matter what, we are ready.

Yes Scotland’s Future:

THE Yes movement has been like a group of planes flying in a “holding” pattern above Scotland since 2014. The Brexit shambles has exacerbated things and made people impatient, but it has also revealed the true nature of the Union: it is broken beyond repair. We just need a date to land safely and get a move on.

Yes Aberdeen:

WE believe the next steps for the independence movement would be to ignore side issues and divisions within the movement, be patient and trust that a referendum will be called as soon as we have more clarity on Brexit. In terms of campaigning, we need to keep talking outside our closed circles.

NHS For Yes:

THE chaotic handing of Brexit, and the failure of Westminster to deliver on the devo-max promises of 2014 underpin the need for change. In Scotland health is an issue on everyone’s mind.We stand ready to fight an honest, truthful and positive campaign for independence whenever Nicola is ready – our campaign is organised, energised and ready to launch.