SNP depute leader Keith Brown paid tribute to the All Under One Banner marches during his speech to the party’s conference.

He told delegates on the final day of the event in Aberdeen: “You should never be too proud to march.”

Hundreds of thousands of independence supporters have taken part in a series of marches across Scotland over the last few months including in Glasgow, Perth, Campbeltown and, most recently, in Edinburgh earlier this month.

Brown used his speech to back the First Minister’s plan to have an independence referendum on terms agreed with the UK Government.

He insisted that the Scottish Government was seeking an “agreement” from Westminster over having a second independence vote, not “permission”.

He also stressed that “Scotland will not accept a Westminster veto on Scotland’s right to choose.”

ANALYSIS: No Plan B in sight ... but the Section 30 order issue still needs to be resolved

The UK Government has to transfer power to Holyrood for a referendum to be legally binding. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to ask for a Section 30 order to achieve this in a matter of weeks.

But Brown said: “Just to be absolutely clear: We are not seeking permission for a referendum, we are seeking agreement for a referendum.

“And the reason we’re doing that is not to please London, Westminster, however you want to term it. It is because we want to have a fair, clear choice for the people of Scotland and one that is respected in Scotland by both sides, one that is respected in London, and one that is respected internationally. That is why we have to have the gold standard.”

Brexit is convincing some voters who voted to stay in the UK in 2014 to back the SNP and independence,” Brown added.

He told the conference: “I am certain of this – and you can actually tangibly feel it now – that Scotland will soon take its place as an independent country.”

He said: “Scotland is on a journey, a journey that has lasted many, many years.

“But it is now getting to the most exciting stage ever. It is clear that independence is not only on the horizon, but looming into view.”

This year’s European elections – in which the SNP had its best ever result – saw “some incredible changes taking place”, he claimed.

Brown said: “We saw a real shift, people who had never considered voting for the SNP or independence before now moving across.”

He said that was because people “felt appalled at the way Brexit was being carried out” and also “felt disgusted very often that their children were going to be denied the opportunities membership of the European Union brings.”

During his speech he also said that a second independence referendum must not feature the “voter suppression initiatives” being put forward by Boris Johnson’s government.

While Brown said independence supporters were “closer now than we have ever been” to achieving their goal, he warned of the impact it could have if voters had to produce ID when they turn up at polling stations.

In the Queen’s Speech on Monday, the UK Government outlined plans to require people to bring photographic proof of identity with them when they go to cast their ballot.

Brown noted that legislation setting out the rules and regulations for future referendums in Scotland was currently going through Holyrood.

And he told activists at the SNP conference: “I fervently hope that ... we do not have voter suppression initiatives being offered by the UK Government, we want to have the maximum turnout and eligibility to vote.”