THIS weekend’s Independence Convention offers a chance for the SNP to jump off a “never-ending cycle of talking about process”, Stephen Flynn has insisted.

The party’s Westminster leader said they must get back to talking about the “why” of independence which he feels may have been lost amid a focus on how a referendum can be secured.

Speaking to the Holyrood Weekly podcast ahead of the event – taking place on Saturday at Caird Hall in Dundee – Flynn said it was an opportunity to look at what other countries have achieved with independence and start “relentlessly” getting across the message Scotland can do it too.

The convention will be the first in-person SNP event since the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon as first minister.

But no independence strategy will be officially decided upon as was originally intended for the special conference planned prior to Sturgeon standing down.

READ MORE: Brexit: Report lays bare damage inflicted on Scotland by EU exit

Some critics have branded the convention a “talking shop” in frustration no route forward will be settled upon, but Flynn has insisted the way to get the public on side will involve shifting focus onto why Scotland needs independence rather than just how it can get it.

Asked how the SNP can get the Yes vote consistently beyond 50%, Flynn said: “I think that we really need to focus on the why of independence.

“I mean, for how long have we all been talking about the process? We’ve almost gone into this never-ending cycle of talking about process over so many years now.

“We've perhaps lost our way when it comes to the why of independence.

“If you look at Scotland's energy resource and look at what we can achieve as an independent nation, and look at what others have achieved, what Norway has achieved and will go on to achieve as an independent nation, surely we can achieve that.

“If we look at the things which are relevant to people's everyday life at the moment when it comes to interest rates, inflation - when we compare that with nations around Europe, they're not facing those challenges because they are within the European Union and other Euro areas and we look at what we could do; this is why Scotland needs to be independent.

“We want to be a positive, proactive, European nation and that that why is hugely important.

“It’s difficult as a political party to shift the mindset away just from the process, but if we don’t then I don’t think you’re convincing the public to come with you.

“What they want to hear is that hope for their future and how you can make their lives better.

“That’s the space we’ve got to occupy and we’ve got to occupy it relentlessly and not deviate from it. We need to keep saying with independence your life can and will be better, and here’s why.

READ MORE: Digging into the SNP Independence Convention with Stephen Flynn

“We’ve got to rise to that challenge in a way we never have before.”

The Aberdeen South MP confirmed members will have an opportunity to come and speak on stage during the event.

Flynn was reluctant to commit himself to supporting a de facto referendum at the next General Election as he has done in the past and said he wanted to allow First Minister Humza Yousaf – who will deliver a speech at the event – to “set out his stall”.

But he did clarify that devo max was no an option that should be put to the people of Scotland in any future referendum.

The Daily Record recently reported Independence Minister Jamie Hepburn said the SNP should “consider” a multi-option referendum, but he later insisted his words had been misconstrued.

Hepburn said it was something that the party should “consider” but only if it was a possibility, and said he supported calls for the Scottish Parliament to be given further powers.

He described devo-max as “sub-optimal” but argued it would be better than the current devolution settlement.

Asked where he stood on the issue, Flynn told the podcast: “I believe in an independent Scotland and I think when we are putting the question to the people of Scotland, that question should be framed pretty simply.

“We’re a party of independence. I didn’t join the SNP for devo max, I joined it for independence.”

Episode 24 of Holyrood Weekly with Stephen Flynn is available to listen on The National’s website, the Omny streaming platform, and Spotify.