IT’S all good stirring indy stuff from Keith Brown and Ian Blackford in The National on Monday (SNP target ‘arrogant’ Tories over Brexit and independence, June 10).

But then, unfortunately, we get to the “on message” mantras linking the independence question to EU membership, which seems almost ubiquitous from SNP politicians these days.

The SNP support “independence in the EU”, and they are perfectly entitled to take a party political position on that. But there seems to be a lack of understanding that that party political position is not shared by everyone in the Yes movement, or by all potential Yes voters.

There appears to be a cognitive misstep that, arithmetically and logically, misses the obvious: that independence – plain and simple – and independence in the EU are two separate questions that need to be dealt with separately. Otherwise indy/Yes, via the SNP’s party political narrative, runs the risk of alienating and disillusioning the one in three Yes voters who are EU-sceptic, and limiting the appeal of independence only to those who support Remain. At best the position is confusing. At worst it gives the impression to hundreds of thousands of potential Yes voters who tend to a Leave position that their pro-indy votes and views are not welcome.

Keith Brown says: “As the UK continues a damaging Brexit path, more and more people in Scotland will opt for the positive choice of joining the other small, prosperous, independent nations that play a full part in the European family of nations.”

What does that mean? Norway, Iceland and Switzerland “play their full part” in the European family of nations but are not members of the EU. Even Tory Brexit politicians talk of being part of the European family. It could be that Keith is being “constructively ambiguous”, but for many it will simply read as if the SNP are saying that a Yes vote for independence is also a vote for remaining in the EU.

That’s dangerous, because to win Yes decisively at indyref 2, whenever that is to be, we will need ALL potential Yes votes – from Scottish citizens who tend towards Remain AND Scottish citizens who tend towards Leave.

Ian Blackford doesn’t even bother with any ambiguity, “constructive” or otherwise. He says: “Scotland has huge potential as an independent nation in the EU – its future must not be left in the hands of Boris Johnson and this cohort of extreme Brexiteers.”

But Ian, one can agree with the second part of that sentence and still hold that the best future for an indy Scotland would be outside the EU.

This is not an “SNPBad” message, or a letter about whether Remain is 100% right, or Leave is 100% right, or even whether some compromise should be sought. It’s about trying to understand why we still do not have a healthy pro-Yes majority consistently in the opinion polls ... despite (or because of?) the SNP prioritising its party anti-Brexit/pro EU message since 2016.

We haven’t surged above the 50% mark consistently yet because for every No vote that has been won by the SNP’s strategy, a Yes Leave vote has drifted into the wilderness, or been put on hold.

Of course, at some stage in the not to distant future, an independent Scotland must make a decision on whether we wish to be full members of the EU, stay out of EU institutions, or go for a Norway/EFTA-style option. But that’s a decision for AFTER independence, and could be made by the sovereign Scottish people in our own EU referendum in the first parliament of a newly independent Scotland.

Meanwhile, surely the strategic priority should now be maximising the Yes vote for independence in preparation for indyref2?

That means campaigning for the broad democratic case for independence and choice that we ALL agree on, and not a narrower appeal that speaks only to Remain-supporting Scots.

Steve Arnott