HUNDREDS of people have taken part in the launch of a new campaign which aims to win a future independence referendum with a hefty majority.

Believe in Scotland has been established by Business for Scotland (BfS) and is the first nationwide independence initiative to get under way since the 2014 vote. It wants to secure a Yes vote by more than 60% – whenever the new vote takes place.

Almost 300 people from all over Scotland attended the gathering in the Trades Hall in Glasgow including business people and members of more than 61 Yes groups.

New materials including a website – – as well as books on Scotland’s economy and assets were unveiled.

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Business for Scotland published the book “Scotland the Brief Mini” last year providing accessible facts and figures about the nation’s economy and finances and last night saw an updated and expanded edition unveiled.

Gordon Macintyre-Kemp, chief executive of Business for Scotland, told The National: “We are seeing more and more people believe in Scotland and decide to support independence. We have asked people who have read the book where they started on a scale of backing independence one to 10 where one is pro-Union, and 10 fully committed to independence.

“What we are seeing is that once people have read the book they move two points up the scale. We are seeing a lot of movement, especially over Brexit.”

He added: “The role that Believe in Scotland will play is that while politicians are discussing the process of holding a new referendum, we will be having conversations on the doorsteps, in pubs with friends and family so that when there is a new vote we will take the Yes vote to 60% or above.”

Macintyre-Kemp added that BfS has to date trained 600 “independence ambassadors” whose task is to aim to persuade undecided voters to back independence, sent out 11,000 “Scotland the Brief Minis” and distributed 80,000 leaflets promoting independence.

The event comes just over a week before Scotland and the rest of the UK leave the EU – despite Scots vote to remain – and ahead of the First Minister’s statement to Holyrood.

She is to set out her next steps after Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected her request for independence referendum powers to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament saying the 2014 vote was “a once in generation” event. On Tuesday a spokesman for Nicola Sturgeon said she still intends to push ahead with plans for a referendum this year as “that’s what people voted for”.

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Among the audience last night there was much talk of what the FM will do and whether there will indeed be a referendum this year and if so what form it will take.

Ian Forrester, who runs Great North Lodges, in Aviemore, was among the business people who attended last night’s event.

He said: “I hope there will be an independence referendum this year. I believe there will be but I think it has to be correct and legally binding. I don’t believe we can have once without legitimacy.”

Cheryl Easton, of Dumfries and Galloway Pensioners for Independence, said some in the independence movement were getting frustrated and wanted a date for a new vote.

She said: “We need something to fight for. It’s okay telling people to go out and campaign but we need a goal, a date. I’m getting too old to wait!

“I think [the First Minister] is stalling a bit and needs to name the date and say this is what we’re aiming for. I think she should either fight [Boris Johnson] in court or hold an advisory referendum to see what people want. We need action of some sort.”

Friends Sharon Gallagher and Maggie Rankin were members of a new women’s independence group Butterflies Rising and had travelled from Stirling to attend.

Gallagher explained the group’s name is inspired by the butterfly as the logo of the Jacobites with the group already numbering 20 members despite just launching weeks ago.

“We’ve just started. We know there is going to be an independence referendum at some point so on a daily basis we are doing things that bring us close to the public and try and persuade people. We are not focussed on a particular date – although we would like the referendum to be in 2020 – but if it moves into the Scottish Parliament elections we don’t feel too bad about that.

“There is frustration but also we know we’ve got to do it right, make the other side participate. We can’t do something that would be null and void.”

Rankin is an independence ambassador as well as a member of Butterflies Rising. She said: “I am here to support the launch. The Scotland the Brief book is a really good resource for people who are not sure about independence. It gives the information in a bite-size say and shows we are rich enough to be independent.”