A DEMAND to organisers of the SNP conference from members for the party to commit to setting a date for a second independence referendum and provide a concrete definition of what it means for the Covid-19 pandemic to have passed has been rejected.

Activists in the party’s Dalkeith branch submitted an amendment to a resolution on indyref2 to be debated at the online conference next month.

But the final agenda for the event does not include the proposal.

The resolution, which does appear on the programme, notes the publication of a draft Referendum Bill in Holyrood and welcomes an election manifesto commitment to pass the legislation and hold a new vote “as soon as it is safe to hold a proper, detailed, serious national debate on independence”.

The National:

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will make the closing address at the SNP conference

It also states: “Conference welcomes the draft Referendum Bill published before the recent Scottish Parliamentary elections and the commitment in our manifesto to passing that bill and holding a referendum as soon as it is safe to hold a proper, detailed, serious national debate on independence.

“Conference notes that the Scottish Parliament election results in May 2021 demonstrate clear, majority support for a referendum on independence. Conference believes that people in Scotland should not have their health, wellbeing and future economic potential compromised by holding a referendum on independence before it is safe to do so, and that this decision should be determined by data driven criteria about the clear end to the public health crisis, which would allow a full, normal, and energetic referendum campaign.”

MP Angus MacNeil had supported the calls. They had also urged the next Holyrood election to be a de facto indyref if one had not taken place by 2026.

He said last night: “It is unfortunate that spirit of no debate and not testing argument continues, it would be healthy to thrash out the pros and cons. Those denying the membership the possibility of choosing this back up plan must be sure of their gamble on either Boris [Johnson] becoming a nationalist and giving a Section 30 or the courts deciding that we have the powers. I’ d prefer if we had all options and more concrete options at play.”

The 22-page agenda also includes motions on supporting a universal job guarantee scheme under independence. An amendment states the policy is fully compatibility with a Universal Basic Income.

A further resolution includes supporting a lowering of the age to receive a pension to 65 or younger under independence.

The conference is being held online from September 10 to 13.