A GROUP aiming to prove Scotland can hold a new independence referendum without first receiving permission from Westminster has smashed its £155,000 target ahead of schedule.

Forward As One launched the People’s Action on Section 30 campaign last year and began fundraising when Boris Johnson rejected Nicola Sturgeon’ request for a transfer of powers to allow a new vote to be held.

The group has employed one of Scotland’s top lawyers. Earlier this year they issued the Advocate General with pre-litigation correspondence, and received a response that the UK Government doesn’t believe Holyrood can hold indyref2 without their consent.

In March a court summons was issued, but Forward As One says since then it has had to deal with several administrative motions.

READ MORE: Date set for Yes group's hearing in Section 30 court case

The group hoped to raise £155,000 to help prepare for a legal debate – and thanks to a strategic social media effort has smashed the target. They previously predicted they would reach that figure on Monday or Tuesday.

Organiser Martin Keatings put out a statement as the crowdfunder hit the target.

“Give them direction, a challenge, and let it be done,” he said. “This is the spirit that is at the core of our movement.

“£155,000 was a massive target, and reaching it, a challenge of unparalleled proportions in such uncertain times. But what price do you put on the future prospects of the right to define who and what we are as a nation and to leave a nation to future generations, better than the one we inherited?”

He said it was clear from the success of the fundraising exercise that the people no longer want the “ambiguity” of Section 30 hanging above them.

“I intend to honour their support and have this question answered,” Keatings said. “For their support I give them my gratitude, which I ultimately feel can never be sufficient thanks for their belief in this case, but none the less they have it. Now let’s get it done.”

The group managed to knock Steve Bannon’s arrest off Twitter’s trending list earlier this week when they co-ordinated a mass-posting of the hashtag #PeoplesAS30.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh will begin to hear the case on September 30, it was revealed this week.