ALEX Salmond will issue a rallying cry to the Yes movement today, telling them that the British state “has never been weaker”, and that Scots are waiting to be inspired.

The former First Minister is set to deliver an address to the Scottish Independence Convention Build2 conference at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh this afternoon.

He will tell the 2000 Yes supporters in attendance that direction and timing will be key to winning independence. He again backs EFTA, at least as a transitional arrangement, for Scotland to escape the disaster of Brexit.

He also conceded that it was possible the Scottish Government’s White Paper had been “too detailed” and too much like a party manifesto, but said Scotland’s independence movement should never replicate the “blank page” that won the Leave campaign.

Salmond will say: “Some people obsess about content of the message and forget about timing. Some are transfixed by timing and forget the message. In fact the two are closely interlinked.

“For example on campaign direction. It is possible that the White Paper of 2013 was too detailed, too much like a party manifesto rather than a blueprint for an independent country.

“Nonetheless the direction of travel needs to be presented.

“It would be neither right or effective for those of us in the national movement to attempt to replicate the disastrous Brexit blank sheet of paper which is laying the UK low just now. And so, if the national movement by consensus were to determine that independent Scottish membership of EFTA, at least as an interim position, was the correct way forward then this dictates the timing of a referendum.

“It would need to take place as an alternative to a hard Brexit crash or during any transition period on trade which had been negotiated.

“That position would offer an island of clarity amid a sea of uncertainty and be a huge asset to winning an independence campaign.”

Salmond lost his Gordon seat in June’s General Election, but has bounced back by selling out a Fringe show, taking said show on tour and this week launching an audacious bid to be chairman of Johnston Press, the publishers of The Scotsman.

“Don’t underestimate the role of leadership in bringing matters to success,” he will say today. “Of course some people are scunnered even disorientated with polls and uncertainty.

“However there are many more who are waiting to be inspired by a clear sense of direction and commitment.

“Our opponents have never been more divided. The British state has never been weaker. We have survived the fallow years since indyref1. Now is the time to plan to take the country forward.”