ROBIN McAlpine has said the Yes movement must listen to No voters if it hopes to win independence.

The author of a new Common Weal think tank paper on independence strategy said the Yes side was “not winning over No voters because we're not listening”.

The think tank founder’s comments come after the publication of his new paper called Direction.

It sets out a detailed strategy for how to achieve independence in the next decade, and focuses on building up networks of activists while establishing a national commission to work out the “day one” issues of independence, such as currency and pensions.

Speaking to The National after its publication, McAlpine said: “It's been really nice to see people engage with the ideas in Direction.

“I wasn't expecting us to reach a unified position overnight but I hope it is useful for is to have some detailed plans to discuss, plans based on the best modern campaigning and influencing theory.

“What we need to do now is to start to push for detail in how the different proposals we have for independence are meant to work so people can think through the consequences of each.

READ MORE: How does Common Weal's new independence strategy work?

“For example, if we go for a de facto referendum, what do we do if Westminster doesn't accept it? If we are relying on a constitutional convention, what happens when the big civic players don't join?

“If we're discussing some kind of legal route to independence, how do we deal with the professional legal opinion which states that it won't work? If we're declaring independence unilaterally, how are we keeping the lights on given that London controls the electricity grid?

“What I tried to do in my paper is explain very precisely how it is meant to work at each stage and what we would do if it didn't work for any reason.

“I also made sure that everything in the paper is something that it is within our power to do and that we don't need to ask anyone else's permission. Strategy isn't about slogans or bravado but about careful planning.

He called on the independence movement to focus more of its attention on winning over No voters.

McAlpine added: “But if there is one message above all that I hope people take away it's that we're not winning over No voters because we're not listening to what they're telling us, and until we listen, we can give them what they're asking for if they're going to change their minds.

“And I am very strongly of the view that we will not be accepted as an equal by the international community if we cannot demonstrate the strong democratic will of the people of Scotland.

“Achieving that should be our only priority, and whatever we're doing at the moment clearly isn't working.”