THE Sunday National can exclusively announce the launch of the Scottish Independence Congress – with all pro- independence parties invited to participate.

The Scottish Independence Congress will be held online with regional gatherings taking place on Saturday, February 18, 2023, and the provisional agenda has been planned.

Delegates from any organisation that can demonstrate that they are actively campaigning for independence will be invited, regardless of affiliation.

The Congress is anticipated to be comprised of 300 delegates from active local and national campaign groups.

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Believe in Scotland is teaming up with The National, the Scottish Independence Foundation, Business for Scotland, and The National Yes Network to organise the Scottish Independence Congress.

Believe in Scotland is leading organisation of the Congress and now has more than 130 affiliated local Yes Groups.

It also works in partnership with several national campaign groups – however, this conference will be open to all campaign groups and parties.

On behalf of the Scottish Independence Congress, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp (below) said: “The goal of the event is to bring the Yes movement together, to agree goals, tactics and behaviours that will speed up Scotland’s progress towards independence.

The National: 22 May 2018 Business for Scotland Yes training scheme launch in Glasgow .pictured  Gordon McIntyre CEO for Business for Scotland.

“We also hope that the output of the Congress will be used to inform the political parties and form a bridge between the Scottish Government and the Yes campaign.”

The provisional agenda includes discussing the route map to independence, considering questions such as where the campaign is now and how to get to a Yes victory.

There will be an “exhaustive” discussion on every option to achieve a second referendum considering what tactic maximises Yes support and is the most deliverable.

Congress will then explore which strategy and tactics should be deployed and how each political party views the way forward in campaigning.

Believe in Scotland will commission a Foundation Poll to identify key issues, guide messaging, assist in agreeing goals for the movement and messages to take to UK political parties.

There will be a panel discussion involving leading columnists and influencers and an Ambassador Skills Training Session led by Believe in Scotland.

The conduct of a very small minority of Yes supporters is often seen as hindering progress so a Truth and Reconciliation Session will include agreeing behaviours the Yes movement needs to stop and the behaviour that must be demonstrated to win over undecided voters.

MacIntyre-Kemp confirmed that the three main independence parties – SNP, Greens and Alba – have been invited, but none will be asked to debate or share a platform. Each party will be offered a 45-minute slot to engage from the main stage.

The National: Scotland's main Yes parties will be invited to the eventScotland's main Yes parties will be invited to the event (Image: Newsquest)

He said: “I have now officially invited the three main independence parties to attend the Scottish Independence Congress and have requested that the participants are drawn from the party and independence campaign leadership team.”

All the main pro-independence parties have supplied positive initial responses regarding participation to organisers, awaiting full confirmation of the details before confirmation of participation.

SNP president Michael Russell said: “I welcome this focus from the wider Yes movement on next steps after the Supreme Court ruling.

The National: Michael Russell said that the Yes movement ‘must ensure a positive, forward-looking and mutually respectful dialogue before, during and after the eventMichael Russell said that the Yes movement ‘must ensure a positive, forward-looking and mutually respectful dialogue before, during and after the event

“We should all want to see – and must ensure – a positive, forward-looking and mutually respectful dialogue before, during and after this event. I am sure with the right approach, most Yes supporters can find ways of co-ordinating their activities in order to make a success of the campaign and deliver what we must have – a winning result from a plebiscite election.”

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Alba’s deputy general secretary Corri Wilson said: “Alba have a clear plan to clear the Westminster referendum roadblock. Yesterday, hundreds of people attended our Scotland’s Way Forward conference to listen to our strategy to achieve independence, and there is a clear appetite within the movement to take action to now progress the case for independence as an immediate priority.

“We will stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow members of the independence movement in any event that may set out how that convention of elected representatives and civic leaders can be established, so that it can be the body that acts with democratic legitimacy, to set Scotland’s way forward to exercise our right to self-determination.”

There will be regional events planned on the day for Yessers to join local groups in watching the event and the main stage will be available online.

Believe in Scotland has stated: “We have experience of managing online events involving several hundred people and have never had the technical glitches that some online conferences experience.”