ASH Regan has launched proposals to consult the Scottish public on whether Holyrood should be given the powers to legislate for and negotiate independence.

The Alba MSP, who defected from the SNP last month, said she believes the plan would be within the competence of the Scottish Parliament after the Supreme Court ruled that the constitution was reserved.

Instead of legislation for a referendum on independence, Scots would be polled on whether or not to extend Holyrood’s powers.

Alba party leader Alex Salmond said the move was his back up plan if David Cameron had refused to grant a Section 30 order, which allowed the 2014 independence referendum to go ahead.

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And now, the party has proposed that the ballot should be undertaken on the 10th anniversary of the previous vote held in September 2024.

The question asked would be: "Should the Scottish Parliament have the power to negotiate and legislate for Scottish independence?"

Regan, MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, said that Alba’s policy was still to offer the electorate to vote for a mandate for negotiating independence at “each and every election”.

She added: “That is unlikely to happen at the coming General Election since neither the SNP or the Greens support that proposition and have rejected the Alba Party offer of a single Scotland United candidate standing in each constituency seeking that mandate.

“Notwithstanding, Alba Party will certainly offer every voter in Scotland exactly that option at the next Scottish election.

“However, there is no reason why the independence movement should make no progress in the meantime.”

Regan pointed to Alba MP Neal Hanvey’s current Westminster bill seeking to transfer the power to hold a referendum on independence to the Scottish Parliament.

She added: “But the real prospect of momentum lies here in Scotland. Last year’s ill-fated expedition to the Supreme Court has halted the opportunity to propose an independence referendum in the Scottish Parliament.

“However, there is nothing to stop our Parliament proposing a referendum which we believe would be within competence, and that is to ask the people whether they believe the powers of the Parliament should be extended to include the right to legislate for and negotiate independence.

“That is what my proposed new draft bill does and I intend to canvass public and parliamentary support for it now. It is time for the independence movement to offer our supporters the real prospect of progress.”

The National: Alex Salmond

Former first minister Salmond added: “This proposal can propel the independence movement forward and free it of its current inertia.

“More than 10 years ago this is exactly the sort of initiative I would have taken if David Cameron had refused a Section 30 referendum.

“Indeed I had a draft with a similar question in an advanced stage of preparation - just in case. No doubt that fact concentrated the mind of Westminster wonderfully.

“If you want to end a London veto over Scottish sovereignty then you have to make it clear that you are not prepared to take No for an answer.

“The way to assert the sovereignty of the Scottish people is to ask the people the question on whether their own parliament should have the powers to determine our future”

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, chair of the Alba party, said: “Earlier this year after the Supreme Court misadventure led the SNP to a constitutional dead end, Alba Party instructed one of Scotland’s leading KCs to examine the legal routes forward out of the constitutional dead end into which Scotland has been led.

“Aidan O’Neill’s opinion articulates the view that the Parliament has the power to hold this referendum and that consulting the people on their opinion on extending the decision making power of their Parliament is arguably within competence.

“The legislation proposed goes right to the heart of the issue. It would mean that exactly a decade after the first referendum the people of Scotland would have the opportunity to articulate their view on whether the political destiny of the nation should be in Scotland’s hands. It will be the peoples’ opportunity to democratically answer the judicial overreach of the Supreme Court.”