CALLS from a former SNP policy chief for a three-option referendum have sparked a debate throughout the independence movement.

Writing in The National on Wednesday, Chris Hanlon (below) makes the suggestion – arguing that excluding the possibility of devo-max may be “just plain wrong”.

He suggests that heightened devolution could be a popular option among the electorate – referring to reports from before the 2014 vote and calling reluctance to discuss this third option on both sides of the constitutional divide an “outrage”.

“However much I personally want independence, I am of the opinion that intentionally frustrating the sovereign will of the Scottish people because you don’t want the outcome is unacceptable,” he writes.

The National:

Hanlon adds that while devo-max is not his first choice, he does not believe in keeping it off the ballot paper. “The people must have the option of choosing the path the largest percentage of them favour,” he says.

According to the activist, devo-max could involve securing a guarantee of the permanence of the Scottish Parliament, a guarantee of its supremacy over devolved matters and a guarantee of the voice of Scotland’s people, meaning assurance that Holyrood could call indyref2 without Westminster’s consent.

The calls have sparked conversation online, with Michael Russell, the SNP president, among those most vocal against them.

READ MORE: Josh Taylor deletes 'SNP fascist state' tweet – but insists he 'stands by it'

“I do not support including a third option,” he explained on Twitter. “The normality of independence works as does constructive #EU membership. More #Brexit accepting imposed fudge  ( as described by Starmer yesterday) is about saving Westminster not securing the best future for the people of Scotland.”

Meanwhile, SNP MSP Kevin Stewart called the third option suggestion “idiotic, foolish” and “nonsensical”.

We’re keen to hear our readers’ views on this debate. Below, you can cast your vote in a sample poll and indicate whether you back the idea in the first place.

There is also a short form where you can put forward your own views, which we will be publishing later on Wednesday.