Scottish Green Party co-convenor Patrick Harvey has said that “the clock is ticking” to launch an independence referendum campaign and that it must be held during the current Parliament.

“The FM has talked about material change of circumstances as being what would invoke the indyref mandate. We are way past that already,” he told the Sunday National.

“Material change is not only being taken out of the EU – which I think can and should still be stopped – but it's also the way Scotland has been treated throughout. The UK Government has retrospectively cut the powers of the Scottish Parliament to stop devolved laws coming into effect.”

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Harvey added that “the test was met,” regarding a significant material change of Scotland’s circumstances and said that the Greens “recognise that it is a difficult judgement call with regards to timing”.

However, he went on to say that with the Brexit process arriving at a crucial juncture which will ultimately determine what, if indeed any, Brexit the UK will go ahead with, the Scottish people “will want to know what that means for the independence campaign”.

“It will be a different campaign depending on whether we are inside or outside the EU which will give rise to different issues – but we need to be ready for that,” Harvey said.

“The final thing is the appetite for independence. It needs to be harnessed. The last time, there was a year and a half between introducing a referendum bill and holding it. If we want to use the pro-indy majority in the current Parliament, the clock is ticking.”

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He continued: “We can’t wait right until the end of this Parliament because that will not give us the time we need to pass the legislation. We need to think carefully – do we want to use the pro-indy majority in Scottish Parliament given the material change of circumstances and contempt which has shown by the entitled, privileged incompetents who are running the Westminster Parliament? We can’t afford to waste more time.”

With talk abounding in Westminster of a possible General Election, Harvey was clear that the Greens would field candidates to voice a “distinctive Green message,” but added that “the question of Brexit would not be solved by an election”.

The Scottish Greens MSP also warned the SNP that supporting Brexit in any way through parliamentary votes would lead to people in Scotland feeling “betrayed”.

“Scotland voted against Brexit and deserves a parliament and government which will stand up for what they voted for. I think a lot of people in Scotland would feel betrayed if the SNP voted for Brexit in any form – especially now when we know that there is far more hope to stop this process, which is a hard-right coup by people who have cheated, lied and who have broken the law.

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“There is more hope now than even a couple of months ago that this Brexit project can be stopped.

"I think people need to see politicians who are willing to say that and vote for that and who are not willing to go along with this hard-right coup.”

Next week, the Scottish Green Party hold their annual spring conference at Craiglockhart Campus in Edinburgh.

As well as normal party business, Harvey told the Sunday National that among the issues to be discussed could be preparation for a dual EU election campaign

paired with a second remain campaign in wake of a People’s Vote becoming the agreed route for Brexit.