RECOVERY from the coronavirus pandemic should be at the heart of the campaign for independenceSNP members have said.

Delegates at the SNP virtual conference passed a resolution titled “Rebuilding Scotland” by 510 votes for yes, to 10 for no, on Sunday.

The motion set out that the SNP 2021 manifesto proposed the referendum be held when the covid crisis has passed but “in good time to decide that we want to equip our Parliament with the powers it needs to drive our long-term recovery from Covid”.

It states that the devolved powers to Holyrood do not go far enough and that “independence is therefore essential to our recovery from the pandemic, and therefore recovery should be at the heart of our campaign for independence”.

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It continues: “Conference notes that the full powers of independence will enable Scotland to provide the requisite support for our economy and our vital public services to not only recover from the pandemic, but to flourish.

“Conference therefore supports the development of a campaign for independence that puts recovery at its heart.”

Andy Oliver, from the Stonehaven SNP branch, spoke in favour of the motion and said that the pandemic showed how “fragile national economies and the lives of people across the world can be”.

He added: “We have seen throughout this pandemic, despite having all of those powers, has been indecisive, slow to act and inadequate when they do and too quick to lift restrictions.

“They failed to heed advice from SAGE and the WHO, to learn lessons from how other countries dealt with Covid, and ignored or dismissed representation from devolved administrations.

The National:

Andy Oliver spoke in favour of the motion at the virtual conference on Sunday

“It is clear that as long as Scotland is part of the UK it will be at the mercy of the UK Government with only a limited capacity to support the people and the economy of Scotland.”

Oliver added that it is “imperative” Scotland builds a “coherent case” for independence covering the economy, public services, defence and foreign affairs, to “increase support for independence among all of its people”.

Dawn Black, speaking on behalf of the motion, told delegates: “The Scottish Government has already announced numerous progressive policies that will go further with our ambitions outlined in the Social Justice and Fairness Commission Report.

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"To be able to deliver these policies and to recover from the pandemic we need to take matters into our own hands as an independent nation.

“The pandemic and the chaos that Brexit has brought to the Scottish economy and UK global standing has put a sharp focus on the fact that English and Scottish Government values and ambition are worlds apart.

“We need the financial ability to support our own economy and social wellbeing in the way we wish to, not be dictated to by Westminster.”