AN SNP minister has called for pro-independence parties to unite to put a Yes option on the ballot papers in a de facto referendum – which could be achieved by setting up a new party.

Ivan McKee, who is Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, has backed using the Westminster General Election as a vote on Scottish independence, saying there is “no option but to win”.

READ IVAN MCKEE'S ARGUMENT IN FULL: There's no option but winning a de facto referendum

To achieve this, the MSP for Glasgow Provan has argued voters must be able to see an explicit Yes option when they go to the polling booths, rather than just party names.

He told the Sunday National: “There are a number of ways you can do it, and people can figure it out if they like the idea.

“You could do it with the party branding and the logo and put Yes SNP, Yes Green or whatever.

“Or you could create a whole new entity which stood as a party for that election – or I’m sure there are other ways people could think of how best to do it.”

McKee said he has raised the idea with some people in the party and hopes to have a discussion on it at the SNP’s special democracy conference next month, which will debate options such as using a General Election or a Holyrood election as a de facto referendum.

He said one aim of having Yes on the ballot papers would be to maximise the independence vote, as there were around a million people who took part in the 2014 referendum who did not usually turnout to back parties in UK or Scottish elections.

And it could also lead to the Unionist parties to have to work to mobilise No voters, forcing a recognition that the future of Scotland is the focus of the election north of the border.

Another advantage would be to have a visible Yes presence at Westminster to maximise pressure on the UK Government, he added.

Writing exclusively in the Sunday National today, he said: “A large cohort of MPs at Westminster – elected under a Yes banner – presents a ­problem for the next UK Government.

“From the speaker calling ‘the leader of the Yes Party’ to question the Prime Minister every Wednesday, to how they are described in Hansard.

“Everyday the Palace of Westminster will be reminded of the choice made by the people of Scotland. Yes MPs appearing on UK TV and Radio channels will be similarly described.

“Forcing your opponents to use your language is a victory in itself. It shifts the narrative and never allows those who would stand in Scotland’s way to forget the clear choice the people have made.”

NOW READ IVAN MCKEE'S ARGUMENT IN FULL: There's no option but winning a de facto referendum