A SECTION 30 order granted after a pro- independence win in a de facto referendum would “honour democracy”, the convener of the SNP ’s policy group has said.

This week the First Minister said that the SNP would push ahead with plans to run the next national election on the single issue of independence after the Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish Parliament did not have the legislative competency to hold indyfref2.

However, it is unclear whether a majority for pro-independence parties would be considered by the UK Government as a decisive vote for independence or simply a mandate to hold a second independence referendum.

However Toni Giugliano, the SNP’s policy development convener, told The Scotsman that a pro-independence majority could “start negotiations” with the UK Government and result in the granting of a Section 30 order.

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He said: “It’s not the only route, as the (First Minister) said. It’s not the only democratic route.

“But I think if we come out of that election and negotiations with a section 30 order, then I think that that would honour democracy in Scotland and it would put the UK in a much better light on the international stage.”

He added: “If the UK Government wants to come to the table and start negotiations on independence on the back of a (de facto referendum), then I’d be delighted.

“But I’m also a realist and I think that any advance on bringing the UK Government to a table is a win for Scotland.”

Giugliano went on to say that a single-issue election was a “tactic” to further the cause of independence.

“There are some who see the de facto referendum as ‘oh well, that will mean that we achieve independence there and then’,” he said.

“The de facto referendum in many ways is a tactic for us to be able to pursue independence, to keep it on the agenda, and to, at the very best, begin negotiations with the UK Government.

“Of course it’s risky. It should be risky. We’ve been in government for 15 years.

“The reason why we’re here is not to perpetually be in government – the reason why we’re here is to deliver independence for Scotland.”