A VOTE on keeping or scrapping the monarchy in an independent Scotland should be held at the same time as the debate on leaving the UK, a republican campaigner has said.

Speaking on The National's Holyrood Weekly podcast, Our Republic convener Tristan Gray argued that without having the debate on keeping the royal family as a head of state then an independent Scotland would “bake in” the same problems with the current system.

Despite the royal family’s popularity plummeting in polls under King Charles, Gray points out that the debate will still “take a while”.

He added that some parts of the Yes movement support the monarchy.

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And, without putting forward the argument for an elected head of state, voters would think they are being offered “more of the same”.

“The big issue that we have is if that independence is secured, it will take a while to decide that we want to get rid of the monarchy, a while to decide the new system, appoint the new person – what we've done in that interim process is setting up a new state where the monarchy is baked into the system,” Gray told the podcast.

“By the time we've gotten around to having an elected head of state, we've got to then unpick all the problems that come with having a monarchy that's part of the system, the problems we already have in the UK.

“So we've kind of tied ourselves up into a continuation of all the problems.

The National:

“What I think we should be doing is putting ourselves in a position where we already had the debate, it can happen, the vote on keeping the monarchy can happen either at the same time or immediately after a vote on independence, so that as the new state is being built we can build it free of all the corrosive influence of the monarchy.”

As a supporter of independence, Gray added that having the debate is crucial to setting out the “values” that should underpin a new state.

He added: “How are you going to convince people that an independent Scotland is worth fighting for when they ask, what will this new Scotland look like?

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“Your answer is a shrug or same old, same old but with a border?

“I don't think that's going to be compelling for anyone.”

After a deep dive looking at the royals and the different options open to Scotland after independence, political reporters Abbi Garton-Crosbie and Steph Brawn look at the Post Office Horizon scandal, new rules for XL bully dogs, the Scotland Office seeking expenses over the Section 35 court case, and the looming General Election.

Listen to Season 3: Episode 2 of Holyrood Weekly above, on Spotify and the Omny streaming platform.