ALEX Salmond has said the SNP’s plans for a second independence referendum do not look “credible” ahead of the Alba Party conference.

The former First Minister has hit out at Nicola Sturgeon’s timetable saying her intentions of holding indyref2 by the end of 2023 “look pretty optimistic, to say the least”.

Speaking ahead of his party’s conference at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Saturday, Salmond revealed Alba is publishing a new 38-page booklet to update the arguments for independence eight years on from the first vote.

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In an interview with The Herald, Salmond said there was a “a huge amount of impatience among independence supporters” over the SNP’s plans for a second vote.

He added: “It seems unlikely that Boris Johnson is going to meekly say to the Scottish Government: ‘Well done, chaps, you can now have a referendum and I am changing my mind on the issue.’ Therefore, you have to campaign to change his mind and have a series of contingencies as to what you do if Westminster says no.”

He said the independence movement must focus on efforts to “bend Westminster to the will of the Scottish people” and said Alba will be calling for a convention after the local elections in May involving pro-independence politicians and civic Scotland.

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Scotland should focus on establishing a new currency post-independence “much earlier” than was envisaged in 2014, he said, and noted Brexit had changed the conversation around an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU.

“Alba is putting forward a prospectus that Scotland should immediately apply for EFTA membership, which is a matter of months in terms of being achievable,” he said.

“It’s a much more credible position.”

The Wee Alba Book will also address questions around the debt burden an independent Scotland could expect, currency and borders.