THE independence poll showing 54% is good news for Yes campaigners. It is not a surprise, as there has been a slow upward gradient since 2014. Debates about the way forward continue to rage. I think there is merit in many of the opposing views being put forward.

The key factor of winning over No voters by good governance – a position favoured by the SNP leadership – has clearly played a part in this. Many Scottish people, like our wonderful First Minister, are cautious by nature and need to be convinced. This is a difficult task in the light of much anti-independence rhetoric of the mainstream media.

The First Minister’s management of the Covid-19 crisis has convinced many of the good sense and empathy of the Scottish Government approach.

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The physical process of detaching ourselves from the UK stranglehold deserves a public debate – how to move forward?

Test the validity of Section 30? Set up a Scottish Constitutional Convention to bring the whole of civic society into the discussion? Approach the EU now to formally lay out Scotland’s opposition to Brexit? Talk to the United Nations about our desire to set up an independent nation? Enlist the help of two small independent nations who would give us recognition of our independent status? Take the case of the 1707 agreement to the Scottish courts? Use the 2021 election to set up an independent government?

We need to publicly debate about how to break the deadlock, and the Scottish Government and the Yes Campaign need to be part of that. Optimism is key!

An independent Scottish currency and nationalised banking system is a crucial framework for a post-independence situation to protect and develop our fledgling economy – commonweal resilience planning is a must!

Maggie Chetty