FORMER SNP MSP Chic Brodie has said claimed Holyrood is "broken" as he launches a new pro- independence party.

Scotia Future was launched last night and aims to stand candidates in the regional and constituency contests in the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.

The party, registered with the Electoral Commission, has been more than one year in the making and aims for "real independence outwith the EU" through a Swiss-style deal with Brussels, as well as decentralisation of power from Edinburgh to local authorities.

Brodie, who was SNP MSP for the South of Scotland region from 2011-16, said: "We are delighted to launch Scotia Future, a party that will move Scotland forward to real independence outwith the EU, as it has never been clearer that, devolution has had its day.

"Westminster and Holyrood are broken, but the only choice for Scotland is not a binary one between a dwindling voice in the UK and so-called independence in the EU. We have better options.

“Scotia Future believes in real independence. For example, it is unwise to seek to trade Scottish sovereignty away to the pro-austerity and centralised EU before we have even gained independence. We favour a bespoke deal for Scotland with the EU similar to that of Switzerland, which is vital to safeguard Scotland’s sovereignty on the economy and defence.”

The move comes a decade after businessman Brodie joined the SNP, a shift which saw him depart the LibDems after a long allegiance which included a period as a LibDem councillor in England.

He founded Scotia Future in partnership with Councillor Andy Doig, who has sat on Renfrewshire Council as an independent since leaving the SNP in 2017.

The pair hope to create "a Scotland of equals".

They don't yet have targets for the number of candidates they hope to put before voters but plan to hold an online national convention before the end of the year.

Further policies will be announced in due course.

Doig said: “Scotia Future has three key aims – real Scottish independence, economic justice, and giving power back to communities. We do not just want to change flags but to change society. We seek a Scotland of equals where merit is the gold standard, a Scotland which is a fair and enterprising country based on co-operative principles and values.”

He went on: “Centralisation is extremely damaging to communities and we believe that decisions that can be taken at local level should be. But to safeguard this restoration of real local democracy we seek to enshrine the principle of subsidiarity to give power back to communities.”

Scotia Future is the third pro-independence party to launch this year, following the Independence for Scotland Party and Action For Independence, which has asked smaller pro-indy parties to join with it to "max the Yes" and capture list seats.

Doig told The National: "We'd be up to discussing anything with other pro-independence parties but beyond that we haven't taken a formal view.

"I know we'll probably get brickbats from SNP people but this is about the Yes movement fragmenting and growing and allowing different voices and different perspectives in."