A DIGITAL platform launched last month to increase backing for independence has broken its target of 200,000 signatures.

The SNP-sponsored Yes.scot website has been signed by more than 200,000 people pledging support for the It’s Time for Independence campaign.

Keith Brown, the SNP’s depute leader, welcomed the milestone figure, pointing out the number of people pledging their support was continuing to rise.

“More than 200,000 people signing the pledge for independence on Yes.scot is greatly encouraging,” he said.

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“That’s on a par with the population of our third biggest city Aberdeen and it highlights the strength and depth of the movement – and the number is continuing to rise.

“More and more people from all walks of life are recognising that this platform is the place to get the resources that empower activists to heap pressure on the UK Government and force them to give Scotland the final say on its future.”

He added: “On Brexit, and so many other issues, Scotland has been ignored by the UK Government far too often. It’s time for a fresh start – it’s time for independence.

“Only with independence can we build the fairer and more prosperous country we deserve.”

The SNP depute urged members of the public to sign up and to share information about the website with others.

“If you’ve not signed already I’d urge you top go to www.Yes.scot and do so today then share with your friends and family,” he said.

The website was launched on the same day as the First Minister set out plans in Holyrood for a second independence referendum before May 2021 if Scotland is taken out of the European Union.

Her Government is due to introduce a referendum Bill into the Scottish Parliament this month setting out the rules for the new vote and she will request the necessary powers from the UK Government to hold the ballot during or after the legislation has passed.

The Yes.scot website underlines Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a new vote within the current term of the Scottish Parliament – saying “the people of Scotland should have a choice between Brexit and a future as an independent, European nation”.

It also highlights the Scottish Government’s proposal for a Citizens’ Assembly to discuss the country’s constitutional future, and asks those who have signed up to make a donation to allow the party to produce a leaflet on the economics of independence which can be distributed to all of Scotland’s 2.46 million households.

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Meanwhile, French MEP Jean-Christophe Lagarde said Europe must fast track an independent Scotland back into the EU.

Writing in the Scotsman, he said the European Commission “made a big mistake” in 2014 on closing the door to a “deeply pro-European people”.

He said he believed “an independent Scotland would have its place in Europe with no conditions and without delay” and would be “one of the most developed states in the EU.”

Stephen Gethins, the SNP’s Europe spokesman said the comments reflect a growing consensus in Europe.

He added “Scotland will be welcomed as a full member state of the EU” in the same way as similar sized neighbours Denmark and Ireland.

Find out more about our 10,000 Steps campaign here.