A NEW pro-EU Yes group is planning to “build up groundwork for entry into the EU” alongside an indyref2 campaign.

“Yes for EU” plans to launch on Saturday, coinciding with Europe Day.

The group is made up of activists who recently campaigned for a People’s Vote under the Edinburgh4Europe banner.

But Morag Williamson, who is on the group’s four-strong executive committee, was keen to stress the group is not affiliated with any political parties.

“We are going to campaign cross-party. We will support pro-independence events in any way we can. Some of them will maybe be organised by the SNP or Green Party,” she said.

“We will lobby parties who don’t support independence. Scottish Labour and the LibDems could be persuaded. I don’t see independence as a party-political issue. Apart from the fact it is a core policy of the SNP, there is no reason why other parties can’t support it. It’s not tied to any political ideology.”

Williamson says the group is aware of the challenges of re-entering the EU. They have been inspired by research by the Scottish Centre for European Relations, as well as “EU blueprint for Scotland”, a paper by Anthony Salamone, managing director of the Scottish political analysis firm European Merchants, that argues the Scottish Government should adopt a target of four years to re-join the bloc.

“They make the point that it would not be an easy process as there are issues like the possibility of a hard border between Scotland and England, the strength of the economy and currency,” Williamson said. “That’s where quite a lot of the argument will be. We would go into it with our eyes open. We are confident we can tackle the obstacles.”

She said the group has “mixed opinions” with some of them always backing a Yes vote and others voting No in 2014 but now realising that independence could be a way back into the EU.

She added: “A few of our group were very keen on keeping the UK together and many have come round to the view that the EU is so important that a campaign for independence is the best way to get back in. It will be good for Scotland’s future: we will have a better society, tackle climate change and have a good relationship with neighbouring countries. All of these are based on values that reflect Scottish values.”

The group has plans for an online webinar event in the next few weeks and hopes to host events with speakers and stalls post-coronavirus.