THIS weekend, Yes for EU will host a very interesting event: The EU is enlarging – how can Scotland join in?

It comes as the European Union has talked of growth in recent months. In September, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told the body that it must immediately prepare for "radical changes" needed for Ukraine and other countries to become members of the bloc in the face of Russian aggression.

At the event, there will be input from Dr Kirsty Hughes and councillor Heather Anderson – a former MEP – who will explain what an Association Agreement is and what benefits Scotland could expect from having an Association Agreement during the time between independence day and the implementation of the full EU Treaty of Accession. 

The event is to be held on Saturday, January 27 at 1:30pm until 4pm at Augustine United Church in Edinburgh. You can find tickets here.

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The event is also an interactive workshop, and attendees will be invited to watch short videos, read relevant paragraphs in the Scottish Government's Building A New Scotland reports and debate different aspects of the accession process.

LAST week, Believe in Scotland (BiS) launched its mass survey of the independence movement for 2024 and already more than 2200 independence supporters have responded. You can complete the survey here.

This annual survey seeks to act as a "temperature check" for grassroots activists and the wider movement, gauging its feelings on progress to independence, political parties, campaigning and issues such as the EU. 

Founder of BiS Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp said that last year's poll found 97% of No to Yes switchers want an independent Scotland to become a member of the EU, and described this as "a really significant finding".

READ MORE: Scotland should not seek to emulate the Welsh independence movement

He added: "A lot has changed since our last mass survey in January 2023. That’s why this poll is so important – to find out what the grassroots independence movement thinks on where independence stands today, after a change in first minister, police investigations, a more aggressive UK Government, and the political parties have a tricky General Election to navigate."

MacIntyre-Kemp said that the survey is "vital" to find out where the independence movement stands on big campaigning issues and encouraged everyone to complete and share the form to ensure accurate campaign materials that reflect the current mood of the nation.

"If you are an independence activist or supporter then I would really encourage you to fill out the survey," he added. "We’ve had a really good response so far and we need to know what you think!”

Complete the survey here.

AMID the chaos and media spin of the Covid Inquiry, we reported yesterday that the UK Government is threatening to "tighten up" civil service rules on reserved and devolved issues – and this could have a knock-on effect for future independence papers published by the Scottish Government.

Despite civil servants in Scotland having a responsibility to deliver the Scottish Government’s policies, a UK Government spokesperson said that the "principle" of a single civil service across the UK "must be maintained" and that officials in Scotland are answerable to the Cabinet Secretary in Whitehall.

George Foulkes, the Labour peer spearheading the tightening of the rules, said: "Swift action is needed to stop spending on a minister for independence, his support staff, pretend embassies and other reserved areas, when the money could be redirected to devolved areas which are being starved of resources." 

ELSEWHERE, a major new poll shows that a majority of Scots back Holyrood having the powers to negotiate and legislate for independence.

The survey, carried out by FindOutNow on behalf of the Alba Party, found nearly six in 10 Scots – 57.5% – agree or strongly agree with the proposal, excluding don’t knows.

Around a third said they did not back the idea, with 10.8% saying they disagreed and 22% saying they strongly disagreed.