SNP depute leader Keith Brown will today open the SNP conference with an appeal to supporters to “Reach Out For Indy”.

The party conference, which is taking place online until Monday, will see delegates debate a range of resolutions and hear impassioned speeches by some of the biggest hitters in the SNP over the four-day event.

It will culminate in a keynote address on Monday from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who earlier this week confirmed that the Scottish Government has restarted work updating the comprehensive prospectus for independence.

Today Brown, who is also Scotland’s Justice Secretary, will tell attendees at the conference that they too have a crucial role to play by persuading their fellow Scots that independence is Scotland’s best hope of building a fairer, wealthier and happier nation.

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In thanking party activists for their efforts in helping the SNP return to goverment in May, Brown is expected to say: “The case for independence cannot just be left to the Scottish Government. Every member of the SNP family knows we all have a crucial role to play.

“Our task is to convince those who do not yet support our cause. That means engaging in respectful, constructive discussions with those fellow Scots who remain open to persuasion.

“We must accept that, in 2014, many ordinary voters were cowed and confused by the scare tactics of Project Fear. We must accept that, even now, many of those same fears persist.

“So, we must listen to our hesitant fellow Scots and convince them by the power of our positive arguments that there is absolutely nothing to fear ... that Scotland is big enough, is clever enough, is rich enough, so long as we are bold enough.

“Indeed, it will be our collective task to prove how the dangerous future for Scotland is not through independence but remaining in this dysfunctional Westminster system.”

He will continue: “Today I challenge each and every one of our supporters to Reach Out For Indy. To re-double your efforts to convince at least one more undecided voter that the needs of the people of this country are best achieved as an independent nation.

“If we can all do that, our collective dream of independence will not take just a giant leap forward, it will be guaranteed. And it’s in your power to deliver it.”

The key themes of this year’s SNP conference are set to include the climate change challenge, rebuilding from coronavirus, next year’s local council elections and focusing on a fresh independence referendum.

The event will kick off today at 2pm with Brown’s speech, while Independence Unit chief and SNP president Mike Russell will give a 15-minute speech at 3.45pm before the conference closes for the day at 4pm.

Tomorrow will see an earlier start, with a speech from Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills Shirley-Anne Somerville at 10.30am.

There will then be a break at 12.30pm, with the conference restarting with a speech from deputy first minister and Covid Recovery Secretary, John Swinney, who will be speaking at 2pm.

On Sunday, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy Kate Forbes will open the conference with a speech at 10.30am. Last year, Forbes spoke about the impact Brexit was set to have on the country. With the current shortages affecting supermarkets and workers, this is likely to come up again.

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There will also be a break on the Sunday from 12.30pm until 2pm, where Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Humza Yousaf will take to the stage. Later, at 3.45pm, Westminster leader Ian Blackford will close the conference for the day.

On the final day of the conference, Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, will open the conference at 10.30am. The keynote speech will be delivered by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at 11.50am, with the conference officially closing at 12.30pm.

Last year, Sturgeon told the virtual conference that independence was “not a distraction from the task of post-Covid reconstruction” but “essential to getting it right”. With the First Minister laying out her plans for a second independence referendum by the end of 2023 in her Programme for Government this week, it is surely one to watch out for.