INDY activist Martin Keatings has said that as we move into 2021, Scotland is about to face some of its “darkest hours”.

However, the man who is fighting a legal battle to prove Scotland does not need permission from Westminster for indyref2 said he has faith these will soon be followed “by our finest years”.

In an open letter to readers of The National and backers of his Peoples Action on Section 30, Keatings said its supporters now totalled more than 10,000 from across the Yes political spectrum.

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Led by ordinary voters, he said it sent a powerful message: “A message that the people of Scotland believe wholeheartedly in their right to determine their own future, and that when those with a vested interest in the status quo seek to usurp that right, they will stand up for it.

“Moving into 2021, we are about to face some of Scotland’s darkest hours, but the hope that our movement projects, gives me faith that the darkest hours we will soon face will be transient and soon followed by our finest years.”

Keatings said he believed this would be the year we determine our own future, “and send a message to the world that we are no longer a stagnated caretaker generation, but one which will leave a lasting legacy by ensuring the rights of all future generations as we take our place as a nation of equals among equal nations”.

When the bells bring in 2022, he said we will celebrate our first Hogmanay in three centuries, “where Scotland has reclaimed its status as an independent nation”.

Keatings added: “I am profoundly humbled and will be forever grateful to have stood beside so many with such commitment and steadfast resolve to create a better future for all of us ... 2021 will be Scotland’s year – now let’s get it done.”