THE next independence vote will be an uneven battle between the Yes side and the British establishment, Elaine C Smith has warned.

Commenting on Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement, Smith, co-convener of the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC), said: “We will never have the money, the power or the connections of the British state and its supporters.

“But we have a vision for Scotland’s future which will light people up with hope and help them to believe that the darker times ahead are not our only option.”

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Yesterday’s announcement followed a weekend SIC summit that agreed a work programme to prepare for the campaign, which includes creating a new lead pro-independence campaign group. Umbrella group Yes Scotland led the push last time and the SIC says a new body is required.

Other plans include coordinating a “comprehensive network” of local groups, fundraising, and commissioning extensive research to inform the messages given to voter.

Meanwhile, vice-convener Lesley Riddoch said the announcement came amidst “grim times”, adding: “The Scottish Independence Convention has been bringing the wider yes movement together in preparedness for this moment.

“We are ready to roll.”