THE proposers of an alternative route to independence without a referendum have resurrected their plan in a new attempt to get it debated by SNP members at the party’s annual conference this autumn.

SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil and senior SNP Councillor Chris McEleny submitted a motion to the party’s conference committee earlier this month demanding a fall back position if the UK Government refuse to grant Holyrood the necessary powers to hold a new vote.

They called for a referendum to be held by October next year, and went on to argue that should the UK Government fail to grant a Section 30 order for such a vote to happen, then a new pro independence electoral victory would mandate the Scottish Government to negotiate with the UK Government to enable Scotland to become independent. The plan, they stated, would apply to the first major election, whether for Westminster or Holyrood.

But their resolution was rejected by the members of the party’s conference committee on the basis such a significant policy development should not be determined in a single conference debate.

However, the duo will today resubmit their proposal to party bosses as an amendment to a motion on the achievements of the Scottish Parliament submitted by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Early Years minister Maree Todd.

It remains to be seen whether it will be accepted as an amendment.

READ MORE: SNP figures' independence Plan B could be debated at party conference

MacNeil and McEleny believe that it could be difficult for their amendment to be thrown out without party bosses rejecting the Deputy First Minister’s resolution – which they are highly unlikely to do.

However, one party insider told The National that as the resolution was previously turned down, it be unlikely to be accepted in a revived form.

“If it wasn’t competent as a resolution, it’s not competent as an amendment,” the source said.

“It doesn’t change some of the fundamental problems with the initial resolution. What is an electoral victory for instance, is it a majority of seats or over 50% of the vote? Also an amendment shouldn’t change a fundamental aspect of a resolution. The resolution is about celebrating 20 years of devolution but the amendment is about how to get an independence referendum.”

The MacNeil and McEleny amendment states: “Conference calls on the UK Government to devolve Section 30 powers to the Scottish Parliament so that the people of Scotland can be given a choice about their future in an independence referendum in accordance with the established principles of the Edinburgh Agreement.

“Conference instructs, that in the event of the UK Government failing to agree to grant a Section 30 order, that the manifesto for the next Scottish or UK Parliamentary election – whichever may come first – shall state that, a pro independence electoral victory shall be a mandate from the people of Scotland to commence independence negotiations with the UK Government.”

The National: SNP MP Angus MacNeilSNP MP Angus MacNeil

Writing on his blog Na h-Eileanan an Iar’s MP Angus MacNeil said: “All Scotland is aghast at the latest choice being foisted on our country.

“Clearly Boris and his party are not Scotland’s choice and haven’t been for over six decades, and we can see from our independent Nordic and Irish neighbours that there is a better way.

“Scotland has a mandate for a referendum on independence and Westminster must respect this.

“If it doesn’t then we must ensure that the Scottish Government, on behalf of the people, has another club in its bag to influence negotiations over a Section 30 order. Namely we need the prospect of a direct mandate for independence from a majority of MPs from a Westminster Election (or MSPs from a Scottish Election) to positively progress Scotland to the prosperity of our Nordic and Irish neighbours and away from the damaging policies of Westminster.”

McEleny, who represents members on the SNP’s ruling national executive, added: “SNP members and the independence movement were not happy when our motion was rejected without even allowing a debate.

“Now we will have the opportunity to recognise all we have achieved thanks to the Scottish Parliament but we need in place a Plan B to give our Parliament all the powers of an ordinary independent country if the UK Government refuse to agree to Section 30 order.”

Both went on to call for members who want this debated at conference to write to the National Secretary Angus MacLeod to have their names added to the amendment to Motion 5 at SNP October conference.

In April the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled her proposal for a new vote on independence in the current Holyrood session which ends in May 2021, and later suggested the referendum would be held in the second half of next year. She has insisted the vote would be held following agreement with the UK Government in line with the process behind the 2014 referendum.

However, Johnson is opposed to a new vote on independence. His opposition to it is likely to be strengthened after his renews Theresa May’s confidence and supply deal with the hardline Unionist DUP.

Critics of MacNeil and McEleny’s Plan B point out the FM has yet to ask the new PM for a section 30 and say that move should be made before deciding on any alternative plan.

A SNP spokeswoman said: “The process of producing the agenda is the internal business of the Scottish National Party, with motions shortlisted by a democratically elected internal body.

“The SNP already has a cast-iron mandate for holding an independence referendum before the 2021 election, and the First Minister has made clear that she believes this should take place in the second half of next year.”