NOT a few people in the Yes movement have asked The National about the latest document prepared by the Scottish Sovereignty Research Group (SSRG) which asserts that Scotland could be independent and back in the European single market in weeks.

The Yes DIY page is happy to provide an edited excerpt – it is nearly 2500-words long and we don’t have that much space – and encourage readers to seek it out for themselves online. As a courtesy to our readers we will post it online in its entirety over the next few days.

This does not mean The National endorses every aspect of the document, which is the form of a letter to all the leaders of the pro-independence parties at Holyrood and Westminster, but we do feel it makes a contribution to the ongoing debate about how we go about gaining independence.

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The letter begins: “We wish to express our deep concern over the stated strategy for achieving independence by seeking a Section 30 order from the Westminster government to hold another referendum under the auspices of the UK Electoral Commission.

“We hold that it is not only highly problematic, but may also be impossible to successfully achieve. However, it is also our informed view that you, as pro-independence party leaders in the Holyrood and Westminster Parliaments, already hold the power to achieve independence for Scotland and join the European Free Trade Agreement (Efta) within weeks if our proposal is adopted.

“The following are our concerns over the Section 30 order strategy:

A. The Conservative UK Government has reiterated numerous times that it has no intention of granting a Section 30 order to hold a referendum.

B. Holding a referendum outside of a Section 30 order would be subject to legal challenge, likely boycotted by the Unionist parties and not recognised by the UK state. C. Even if a Section 30 order were granted, holding a referendum under the auspices of the UK Electoral Commission would be highly problematic for the following reasons.

“1. The referendum would presumably be held using the franchise of local elections, which would allow for part-time residents and those with vacation homes to vote in what should be limited to Scots and those who permanently make Scotland their home. Many countries with a written constitution limit the franchise on constitutional matters to its citizens and permanent residents.

“2. It would also allow the UK Government undue influence in the timing, framing, and execution of the referendum. Given the UK’s stated opposition to Scottish independence, it is inevitable that this influence would be calculated to damage the prospects for a successful referendum.

‘IT is therefore the view of the SSRG that a legitimate and legal alternative to achieving independence must be sought, and we have collectively developed the following means to rapidly achieve independence, join Efta and re-enter the European Economic Area.”

The letter continues: “It is the informed view of the SSRG that there is nothing in the UK unwritten constitution that prevents a majority of Scottish MPs, representing the Scottish party to the Treaty of Union, to collectively vote to withdraw from it. This would mean that if 30 of the 59 Scottish MPs voted to withdraw, the Treaty of Union would be annulled. While it may be argued that only the full UK Parliament may vote on such matters, English Votes for English Laws set a precedent under which Westminster parliamentary procedure can allow MPs from the UK nations to vote on issues uniquely concerning that nation. Scottish MPs can do likewise in voting to withdraw from the 1707 Treaty of Union.”

The letter makes a plea to party leaders: “Reaffirm the sovereignty of the Scottish people and declare that the Scottish Parliament is the only parliament which represents their sovereign will.

“It has been legally established and is beyond doubt that Scotland is a nation and that the people of Scotland are a sovereign people, and that they and they alone can determine the form of governance they so choose.

“The Scottish Parliament should therefore pass a resolution establishing both that it is the only parliament which represents the sovereign will of the Scottish people – and to declare that the Nation of Scotland is sovereign and is withdrawing from the 1707 Treaty of Union with England with immediate effect.

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“This could easily be legally justified by citing the myriad of ways in which the UK Government has broken the terms of the treaty over the years and continues to do so in respect of Brexit and the Internal Market Bill among others.”

This next bit might be more problematical, given the 62% vote to remain in the EU in 2016.

The letter calls on the party leaders to join the European Free Trade Association as soon as independence is achieved by the SSRG route.

The SSRG asked Efta if could Scotland join: “They rapidly responded that Efta membership for Scotland is essentially an open door, as long as the Scottish government has the competency to sign international treaties, and the powers to abide by them.”