ALEX Salmond’s Alba Party will next month debate whether the Scottish Government should start negotiations with Boris Johnson now on achieving independence and what possible action to take if the Prime Minister refuses.

A motion under the heading “Independence Convention” has been included in the party’s draft conference agenda, which was published for members last night and obtained by The National.

It is among 20 motions appearing on the draft agenda and it proposes a number of courses of action if Johnson refuses to talk to Nicola Sturgeon or fails to agree to a new referendum. They include cross party campaign, peace demonstrations and legal action in the domestic and international courts.

The motion states: “Alba believes that Scottish independence is an overwhelming and immediate priority for the people of Scotland and notes with growing concern the failure of the Scottish Government to implement successive electoral mandates from the Scottish people to progress this aim. Alba demands that the Scottish Parliament instruct the Government to commence independence negotiations with Westminster.

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“If the British Government refuses to engage, or even accept a referendum process, then we propose a cross party campaign of parliamentary action, peaceful popular mobilisation, legal moves in the domestic and international courts and diplomatic initiatives to enforce the sovereign will of the Scottish people.”

It adds that after the local elections next May an independence convention should be called comprising of all elected representatives of the Scottish people to co-ordinate and give legitimacy and democratic authority to the ongoing independence campaign.

The demand for immediate independence negotiations with the UK Government was included in Alba’s manifesto ahead of May’s Holyrood elections.

But the party was left disappointed after failing to get a single candidate elected as a MSP.

It is now reviving the call in a bid to increase pressure on the First Minister after she has come in for criticism by some Yes supporters for not doing enough to advance the independence goal.

Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to hold a new referendum before 2024 so long as the Covid pandemic is over.

The motion is to be debated at the Alba conference being held at Greenock Town Hall on September 11 and 12.

Around 750 members are expected to attend with Salmond due to give the closing speech on the Sunday afternoon. The conference coincides with the SNP conference the same weekend.

Among the other motions are ones on the protection of women’s rights amid the ongoing row over the reform of the Gender Recognition Act, and one proposing a model of legislation for prostitution.

The motion agrees with the Scottish Government’s NHS guidelines on Commercial Sexual Exploitation which outlines the harmful effects on prostituted women and recognises the legislative approach to prostitution pioneered in Sweden for more than 20 years, now also adopted in Norway and other countries.

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It says: “Alba further acknowledges that in countries where prostitution is legalised there is an associated increase in human trafficking, child prostitution and other forms of criminality. Alba therefore supports the development of a Scottish model of legislation that decriminalises the sale of sex; criminalises the purchase of sex, and offers suitable support for those wishing to exit commercial sexual exploitation.

Other motions include one which calls for Scotland to “join EFTA immediately after the Scottish Parliament acquires the competence to sign international treaties”.

Another motion calls for the protection of Scotland’s battlefields from developers.

It says: “Conference recognises that Scotland has many historic battlefields and that we are currently and imminently at risk of losing our history and heritage through the growth of developments on Scotland’s heritage sites.

“Conference notes that Culloden Battlefield is one of the most visited sites in Scotland and that the Battlefield, boundary and surrounding areas have and will continue to be under threat from companies and individuals.

"Conference expresses concern at the danger which commercial and housing development has on our historic Battlefields and the recent and current attempts to develop parts of Culloden Battlefield.

“Conference believes that there is a moral duty on our generation to preserve, not just Scotland’s Natural Heritage, but also historic areas like Battlefields.”

Covid-19 also features prominently with a motion calling for the vaccination to be extended to young people “as a matter of urgency”.

Further motions include calls to abolish the council tax and to replace it with an alternative system of local government funding, and an increase in funding from the Scottish Government to all 32 of Scotland's local authorities to fully mitigate the impact of the Covid pandemic on council budgets.

The conference will also debate increasing the Scottish child payment to £40 per week for 400,000 children in quarter of a million households and giving £500 a year to every low income household in Scotland.

The same motion also calls for universal free lunches and breakfasts to all nursery, primary and secondary pupils in Scotland, provided on an all year round basis and a doubling of the Educational Maintenance Allowance to help 30,000 of school and college students from poorer families to continue in education.