SCOTLAND should hold an independence referendum anyway and look to the EU for support if Boris Johnson continues to say no to indyref2, the SNP’s Pete Wishart has said.

The veteran MP shared his plan for a “route map to independence”.

In an ideal world, Wishart said, stage two of the journey would be “winning a majority and securing an irrefutable mandate” and then moving “quickly to a referendum in agreement with, and participation of the UK”.

However, if the Tories keep blocking a vote, then “this is when we should be prepared to move beyond the Section 30 process”.

“This is when we move into stage three and into the territory of ‘all options’ as suggested by the First Minister,” Wishart wrote in the piece.

READ MORE: Pete Wishart: We should ask EU to sanction indyref2 if Tories refuse

He added: “What we have to demonstrate is that we have tried absolutely everything possible to secure the UK as a participant in resolving the question of our democratic right to consider our nation’s future.

“We have to conclusively convince the EU and the international community that no stone has been left unturned in trying to engage the UK as a partner in resolving this democratically and constitutionally.

“If the UK refuses to participate in an agreed referendum in the face of majority support and a clear democratic mandate, we must presume it has decided to exempt itself from its obligations and responsibilities as a partner in the Union.

“We would then have the grounds to seek to secure our independence without the UK’s participation. This should involve a referendum designed in Scotland where a last invitation is offered to the UK to participate to put the case to remain in the Union.

READ MORE: Is Nicola Sturgeon really getting 'nasty' over the Border question?

“A request to the EU to sanction this referendum should be made and every attempt to involve it in the designing of that referendum should be pursued.”

The MP, who chairs Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee, said Scotland should “concurrently start ‘the equivalent’ of an accession process as a substate to rejoin

the EU”. He added: “We would say to the EU that the UK is refusing our democratic right as a nation to be part of the EU and we should do all we can to keep Scotland aligned with EU regulations.

“Beyond that, we should be looking at withdrawing from the apparatus of the UK state and starting to informally acquire the responsibilities currently exercised by the UK.

“This could start by withdrawing from the inter-governmental infrastructure determining the management of the four nations of the UK. This could be escalated up to and including the participation in institutions of the UK Parliament.”

Wishart warned that with polls showing high support for independence, the “last hope” of the UK Government “is that the movement beats itself through frustration, division and impatience”. Those polls – the most recent of which showed support for Yes at 54% – have re-ignited debate over how the SNP should secure indyref2.

The Prime Minister has been staunch in his opposition to a vote. The Scottish Government shelved plans for a referendum this year because of the coronavirus crisis.

Last week, writing in The National, SNP MP Joanna Cherry said the party should at the very least discuss the so-called Plan B option, and use next year’s Holyrood election as a proxy vote.

She said: “Those who want to discuss and debate such plans are to be applauded. The time for avoiding discussion of ‘Plan B’ is over.”