A NEW Plan B proposal by a different SNP grouping and backed by Joanna Cherry has been submitted to the party’s conference for debate and a vote later this month.

The move follows the rejection of a resolution put forward by Angus MacNeil and Chris McEleny and follows a further statement by Boris Johnson’s Government that it will not agree to a new referendum for 25 to 40 years.

The new proposal has been put down by the Common Weal Group (CWG), a grouping on the left of the party, and calls for the SNP to set up a working group to consider all democratic and legitimate routes to independence and make recommendations on party strategy.

The idea was first made by Cherry, the Edinburgh South West MP and CWG supporter, who last month called for the SNP to “set up a group to work on gaming a copper-bottomed strategy, the details of which need not be advertised to the enemy.”

It has been submitted as an amendment to a resolution on independence which states that the party “will not accept” a Westminster veto on a new referendum. However, the resolution does not detail what action the party would do if the Prime Minister’s rejects a new Section 30 order request.

SNP Common Weal Group convener Craig Berry said: “Independence is closer than ever and the SNP must be ready. Of course we would like to see the UK Government respect democracy and work with the Scottish Government to hold an independence referendum. But they have so far refused to do so.”

He added: “The SNP must now consider every democratic and legitimate route to independence. This group will draw on the expertise and creativity of the SNP membership and take input from the wider independence movement in order to make recommendations on the SNP’s independence strategy.

“This is an opportunity to focus our best minds on protecting democracy, taking on Boris Johnson, and securing Scotland’s right to choose independence.”

The draft resolution submitted by MacNeil and McEleny backed seeking a Section 30 order , but stated that if this was rejected by the UK Government then Scottish ministers should seek a legal challenge to establish if Holyrood could stage a referendum without the UK Government’s agreement.

Should this second step prove unsuccessful, their proposed motion argued that the May 2021 elections should be a de facto referendum on independence.

MacNeil and McEleny claimed the decision to block their resolution would not be popular among activists who have seen support for independence grow to a record level of 58% but feel their goal has been frustrated and a No-Deal Brexit looms.

“It has been almost four-and-a-half years since the Brexit vote and face facts, the cupboard is bare,” said MacNeil last week.

SNP critics of Plan B argue the strategy of holding out for a Section 30 order is working with support for independence at record levels. They contend if the PM is not going to grant a Section 30 he is unlikely to enter independence talks.

Downing Street said on Friday “the issue of Scotland’s independence” was settled in 2014. Earlier Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the Government would not agree to a new vote for another generation, adding that would be “25 to 40 years”.

The online conference takes place from November 28 to 30.