ANGUS MacNeil has called for the Scottish Government to launch a 2014-style campaign in an aggressive drive to secure independence.

The SNP MP said voters needed to “re-engage” with the issue, be given information about how small independent nations are prospering and be provided with answers about how independence would affect their day-to-day lives.

“We have tried a strategy of sit around and they will come. But us sitting around and not talking about it hasn’t move the dial at all,” he told The National.

“We need to talk about independence and link independence into people’s daily lives. And that’s when we will make headway.

“People are looking for answers. We should be saying ‘imagine Scotland being like Norway, imagine Scotland being like Iceland’. We’ve had three years of not doing that. How many more years do we give that?”

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Opinion polls have shown increased support for independence, with a survey by Panelbase earlier this month finding 53% of Scots would back independence if Boris Johnson succeeds Theresa May as prime minister. Some believe such findings demonstrate the current SNP independence strategy based on Scottish opposition to Brexit is working.

But MacNeil believes a more pro-active campaign is needed to secure solid support.

He continued: “We’ve had three years of the other strategies without much shift in the polls. We’ve now got to be full frontal, explaining to people, talking to people. Like we saw in 2014 and the lead up to then, it is only by talking to people about independence, getting it debated, talking about it as a live issue that they engage with it.

“The idea that things are going to change dramatically gradually by themselves if you don’t talk about it is nonsense, and that’s what the last three years have shown.”

MacNeil’s intervention comes after he and his party colleague Councillor Chris McEleny submitted a resolution to the SNP’s annual conference for an alternative route to independence should the UK Government continue to oppose a second referendum.

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They want members to back their proposal that if the UK Government fails to give the go-ahead for a second referendum by the autumn of 2020, then the SNP winning a majority of seats in either a Holyrood or Westminster election would be a mandate to spark independence negotiations.

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Speaking about his alternative to a referendum as a route to securing independence, MacNeil said that people in Scotland should not “sit back” and accept being told there cannot be another referendum.

And he told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland that holding a referendum may not be necessary to achieve independence.

“We can’t really sit back in Scotland and let people like that shout ‘no way’ to us,” said MacNeil. “I mean, if they’re going to say ‘no way’ to that, there’s another way around it.

“And if you look over the number of countries that have become independent over the past 100 years, of the 150 that have become independent, only 30 or so actually have taken the route of a referendum.

“So the idea is to use an election, either the Scottish election or the Westminster election, whichever comes first, cut out the middle man of a referendum and just have a straight mandate for independence from the election.”

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Meanwhile, McEleny, writing on his blog, said that while Salmond had opted to pursue independence via a referendum, this did not have to be the case – and he said the former first minister would have found a way to advance the cause without one.

“It is our preferred choice to achieve our independence through a referendum, but if we are denied the right to hold a referendum on our future then we must take our destiny into our own hands,” he wrote.

“The consented referendum policy of the SNP is not integral to our national cause. It was devised and deployed by Alex Salmond to create our first ever SNP government and then our first opportunity at independence in the modern era. If, at the time, Alex had been required to find another route forward then he would most assuredly have found one.”