THE SNP’s policy convener has called on the Scottish Government to publish the remaining independence papers in time for the SNP special conference scheduled for March – in which members must “ensure they are in the driving seat”.

Toni Giugliano said he sees “no reason” why the papers can’t be published by March, or simultaneously, to allow parties and campaign groups to begin producing the easy-to-read and deliverable campaign assets.

In January 2022, The National ­reported that Giugliano had written to the party leadership to ask them to prepare a new easy-read prospectus for independence. One year on, and Giugliano is once again calling for it – with increased urgency.

Looking ahead to 2023, the policy development convener also said the year’s focus for the movement should be building Scotland’s self-confidence allowing for a sustainable ­majority support of independence.

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Giugliano said: “What we are ­seeing in the aftermath of the ­Supreme Court ruling is a reaction to that ruling in the polls and that in itself is not a substitute for ­raising Scotland’s self-confidence in its ­ability for it to become a successful independent country.

“In order to do that, I think we need to see the Scottish ­Government papers published by spring. Our ­activists need to have confidence in the case for independence in order to build confidence in the nation – so that is why they must be published by March and there’s no reason they can’t be published simultaneously.”

The first publication in the ­series of independence papers was ­described as a “scene setter” by the First ­Minister, with the following ­documents focusing on renewing ­democracy and the economy.

The Sunday National exclusively revealed there is no expected delay in the publication of future papers from the Scottish Government after it was announced the £20 million bookmarked for the independence campaign is to be redirected.

Further documents are expected in the “coming months” but the Scottish Government has not yet confirmed the date or topic of the next paper.

Giugliano’s role is to prepare ­members for campaigning, and he is urging members to ensure they are in the driving seat at the upcoming conference by lodging amendments through their SNP branch. He also urges elected representatives to work within their local branches.

Deadlines will be communicated to members in due course.

Building confidence, ­Giugliano says, is critical to convincing ­undecided voters. He believes there is “frankly more work to be done in communicating” with the movement and undecided voters by SNP.

He added: “The papers are ­primarily made for the media, policy makers and people who are interested in policy so how many of Scotland’s citizens are actually going to read those papers?

“I hear people say this all the time. One of my closest friends who is a traditional Labour voter says: ‘I’m an independence supporter in my heart but my head tells me otherwise’.

“So how do we bridge that gap? That’s up to us – the work has to be done to translate those papers into deliverable assets, digital and doorstep and that piece of work is going to be the critical aspect. If we spend the coming weeks only ­talking about process, we risk not ­focusing on what I think is crucial – and that is ­undecided voters, making and ­building the case and getting more undecided onside. That is critical.”

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Asked who would translate the ­Scottish Government papers into ­assets, Giugliano said: “Political ­parties. SNP will do it for their ­members, Scottish Greens will do it for theirs, and so on. Other ­non-political party organisations like Believe in Scotland and others have ­already produced campaign assets – but we need coherence in our messaging and the papers are the foundation for building that coherent, joined-up case for independence."

Giugliano also shared his ­current concern of activists getting “too bogged down” in the process over the coming months and failing to ­convince undecided voters on the merit of independence.

He said: “My slight worry is that if we get too bogged down in the ­process, which the movement ­often has a tendency in doing, then we lose sight of building the case of ­independence. The process does not mean that the job is done I’m afraid.”

Post-conference, Giugliano hopes the movement agrees on a strategy and becomes active in delivering the “refreshed message”. He also hopes there is more mass, cross-party mobilisation in 2023 similar to the rallies following the Supreme Court verdict.