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FOLLOWING numerous meetings in recent months involving over 30 independence organisations, one group is to discuss reforming into a new body.

The Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) executive committee has agreed proposals to be discussed at a meeting on Thursday 23.

The reason for not creating an entirely new body is due to the “tight timetable” placed on groups by the SNP leadership race. Yessers wish to have a clear direction, established separately from the dominant independence party.

The proposals to reform and expand the established organisation include changing their name and excluding independence parties from membership – creating a body for the grassroots movement only. The SIC was formed in 2006 to bring the pro-independence political parties together.

Members can submit amendments.

The proposals are as follows:

  • The name of SIC should be changed to the Movement for Scottish Independence (MSI)
  • All existing SIC members will automatically be members of the reformed organisation unless they opt out. There are two exceptions to this. It is proposed that political parties are no longer members. It is proposed that there are no longer permanent individual members, such as individual leading activists. However, there can be co-option as required to bring in talent and experience.
  • Qualification for membership remains the same: Scottish-wide organisations promoting independence and regional Yes groups or equivalents. New applicants have to be approved by Council as at present.
  • All member organisations are entitled to send their representative/s to attend all committee meetings which are held regularly and ultimately determine policy.
  • The Executive should be expanded to 10 members including office-bearers who comprise 2 co-conveners, secretary, treasurer. These are all elected at the AGM.
  • The campaign body Voices for Scotland will have the same relationship to the organisation as at present.

One SIC member previously said: “The movement needs to have an ongoing body which would convene big assemblies at regular intervals and feasibly build a prospectus for an independent Scotland – it would be representative of the movement, rather than the politicians.

"I think the key thing is that we’ve got a very strong window of opportunity here, to be able to say to the new leader that we’re the thing. So there’s a balance here but whatever we’ve got to do, we’ve got to do it quickly.”

It was recognised by the Independence Forum in February that for an event or a convention to succeed, there had to be a single non-party political body bringing together as many pro-independence groups as possible.

The forum also considered that the convention should not be a one-off event; it should be established and then work over a period at least until independence is achieved.

It is also understood that the body will eventually strive to include as many aspects of society such as religious, educational, and health bodies as well trade unions, charities, and businesses.