A MAJOR new report is offering ways to break the deadlock on Scottish independence and suggests how it can be achieved even if Boris Johnson keeps telling Scotland “no”.

Within our Grasp, from the Common Weal think-tank, says the only routes that should be ruled out are anything that includes violence, or that expects indy to be achieved under UK law without a public vote.

“The former is simply unacceptable, the latter is an illusion that won’t work,” says author Robin McAlpine, Common Weal’s director.

His report says the final goal of the movement is to reach an agreement with the rest of the UK (rUK) – in its simplest form a mutual agreement on a binding referendum and negotiation process, effectively a Section 30 order transferring to Holyrood the power to undertake the poll. There are other routes, all leading to negotiation with rUK, and the report says the only mistakes would be to rule out options or pursue them too quickly.

READ MORE: Common Weal answers your queries on options for the Yes movement

However, it says delivering indy within three years is “entirely possible” if the movement does the “right things now”.

The first escalation from asking for a Section 30 order would be a consultative referendum, which would be challenged in court and the next escalations from there become increasingly “nuclear”.

The aim should be to put a high degree of pressure on the UK Government, which would need a “very carefully handled” co-ordinated campaign.

“We can do anything a majority of the public thinks is ‘reasonable’ and can do little or nothing that a majority of the public thinks is ‘unreasonable’,” says the report.

“So we must clearly ‘earn’ each escalation by being seen to have exhausted all options at the previous stage. Misjudging the pace of escalation is perhaps the biggest threat we face.

“Our goal is to make a politician do something he doesn’t want to do. Most political decisions will be made on the basis of ‘the balance of pain’ – which decision will cause the least political and personal harm to the individual making the decision.

“Unless we can change this equation and make it such that NOT acting is more painful than acting, there will be no action.”

The report says this cannot be achieved electorally because the No side’s mandate is as solid as that of Yes, which is where “maximum pressure” comes in. It says most big social change has involved civil disobedience of some form, such as a peaceful sit-down protest that closes a road, but says there is a long way to go before such as escalation.

“First comes protest, boycott, non-co-operation and mockery. Then comes direct action – non-payment, ‘civil obedience’ (doing the legal thing in annoying ways like paying tax bills in coppers), ‘hands around’ stunts which partially close down infrastructure, domestic policy designed to infuriate (Tories will not be happy at widespread land reform or reform of their grouse moors) or be symbolic (perhaps renaming public spaces named after UK monarchs).

“Only once the public is demonstrably of the opinion that we have done everything we reasonably can in these spheres do we accelerate to civil disobedience (perhaps 20,000 independence supporters staging a sit down protest in London which closes all access to Westminster).

“The aim is to make UK Government ministers unwilling to come to Scotland (because of mockery and unpopularity) and to give the strong perception that Scotland has become ‘ungovernable’ by Westminster. This is the only tool we have to force the UK Government to the negotiating table.”

It said the indy movement has to be co-ordinated through a body such as the Scottish Independence Convention, which should be properly supported by the movement. Voices for Scotland should be placed as a campaign vehicle, with other bodies set up to answer key questions and put forward respected non-politicians to answer them in the media.

McAlpine said: “I think everyone now knows that doing more of what we’ve been doing up until now is not going to deliver independence soon.

“We have to start doing the things that win campaigns, we need to stop trying to reinvent the wheel over and over and instead we need to start with the solid, basic, tried-and-tested methods which change public opinion and force the hand of governments.

“If there is a campaign anywhere in the world that won without having a proper plan which it executed systematically then I haven’t seen it. We need a plan, and we need to execute it like we mean it. I think this plan puts independence within our grasp.”

Tiffany Kane, Common Weal operations manager, added: “To unleash Scotland’s potential we need independence, and a well thought out, clear and coherent strategy for getting there.

“This paper delivers just that and I urge everyone who to read and engage with it seriously.”