A PROPOSED policy which could see the SNP seek to kick-start independence negotiations if they win a majority of seats at the next General Election has been rejected by Labour’s shadow chancellor.

The motion, proposed by First Minister Humza Yousaf and SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn, will be debated at the party’s conference next month.

It states that “if the SNP subsequently wins the most seats at the general election in Scotland, the Scottish Government is empowered to begin immediate negotiations with the UK Government to give democratic effect to Scotland becoming an independent country”.

A second referendum on independence has been repeatedly ruled out by successive Conservative prime ministers, and Labour have also said they will not authorise a vote if elected.

READ MORE: Independence supporters react to SNP's conference motion

Asked about the SNP motion while campaigning at Blantyre Fabrications ahead of the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election on October 5, Rachel Reeves told journalists: “No, we wouldn’t consider that a mandate in any way to have another referendum.

The National: Rachel Reeves

“The SNP are now just doubling down on a core vote strategy, not interested in changing the lives of people in Scotland, but focusing narrowly on constitutional issues.

“I don’t think that those are issues that resonate with people here in Rutherglen, or indeed across Scotland.

“This is not the time for a referendum. This is the time to focus on the cost-of-living crisis and sorting out our public services.”

Recent polls have suggested the SNP are winning back support while Labour are falling, with independence still roughly a 50/50 issue.

On her campaign visit Reeves was joined by Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, MSP Neil Bibby and Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election candidate Michael Shanks.

The National: Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar

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The Supreme Court has ruled the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to organise its own ballot on the issue.

Meanwhile, veteran SNP MP Pete Wishart has urged his party to move towards an independence strategy based on a majority of votes instead of seats - a plan backed by figures including MPs Douglas Chapman and Joanna Cherry, revealed by the Sunday National last month.

The First Minister, however, set out the majority of seats method during a special SNP convention on independence in June.

Yousaf’s strategy has been criticised by former first minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond, who now leads the Alba Party, who claimed the approach is not credible.