THE SNP’s most senior MP has said a victory for the de facto referendum should include votes for any party prepared to stand in the next General Election on the issue of Scottish independence.

Pete Wishart also warned the de facto referendum will be a “massive gamble” for the independence campaign, but the only other option is to “give up” and have constitutional deadlock continue.

The MP for Perth and North Perthshire also discounted the idea of attempting to dissolve Holyrood and call an early Scottish election for the de facto referendum, saying this would only lead to a backlash and “First Minister Douglas Ross”.

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The SNP’s national executive committee (NEC) is meeting on Saturday to decide on preliminary details of the strategy, which will be debated at a special party conference in March.

Writing in The National, Wishart said: “A de facto referendum is just about the worst possible way to settle the constitutional future of Scotland. Let me also put it another way.

The National: SNP MP Pete Wishart SNP MP Pete Wishart (Image: Newsquest)

“A de facto referendum is now the only way we’re going to be able to settle the constitutional future of Scotland.”

He went on: “Nothing like this has ever been tried in a western democracy before and the risks are huge.

“If we fail to pull it off we may surrender our leading position in Scotland and could possibly kill any hope of independence being secured in a ‘real’ generation. It is a massive gamble, with the emphasis on massive.”

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However the MP for Perth and North Perthshire said the Supreme Court ruling that Holyrood does not have the power to hold a referendum and the UK Government refusing to agree to a vote left the question of what else can be done.

He added: “Something has to give in the current constitutional deadlock and unless and until we are able to demonstrate to the UK (and the rest of the world) that a majority of the Scottish people want to see Scotland become an independent nation that deadlock will continue to dominate our politics.

“A move has to be made and in the face of UK intransigence it is incumbent on us to move the pieces and push this forward."

*Read Pete Wishart's full article in The National, online and in print, tomorrow*