Just a passing thought : in the light of Philip Hammond helpfully pushing Scotland towards independence by declaring that it will be impossible for us to remain in both the UK and the EU, I'm wondering if the SNP's strategy should be roughly as follows -
1) With the help of the new body of experts, devise a plan that could at least theoretically lead to Scotland remaining in both the UK and EU. (It would probably have to go beyond federalism and involve the UK reinventing itself as a loose confederation of sovereign states - because to remain in the EU, Scotland will need at least some control over foreign policy.)
2) Present the proposal to the UK government on a take-it-or-leave-it basis : "You told the people of Scotland that voting No to independence would keep the country in the EU. This is the only way of honouring that promise. What's it to be?"
3) After the UK government rejects the proposal, beg them to change their minds. "Don't force us to leave the UK just to stay in the EU."
4) Once the proposal is rejected for a second time, point out that London has sabotaged any realistic chance of Scotland remaining in the UK, and call an independence referendum.
* * *
What a difference a year makes...
Westminster elite's message to Scottish MPs in 2015 -
"Aw-dah, AW-DAH! It is a DISCOURTESY to this House for honourable gentlemen and honourable ladies on the Scottish National Party benches to - AW-DAH! - to applaud points they agree with. They MUST LEARN to instead make deep moaning sounds as if they are simulating an orgy for an audio drama. AW-DAAAAAH! That's what NORMAL people do, and if it's good enough for us - AW-DAAAAAAAAAAH! - if it's good enough for us, it's good enough for the honourable gentlemen and honourable ladies on the Scottish National Party benches."
Westminster elite's message to Scottish MPs in 2016 -
"Aw-dah, AW-DAH! It is DISRESPECTFUL of honourable gentlemen and honourable ladies on the Scottish National Party benches to fail to applaud wildly in this House. Look, I'm doing it, Jeremy Hunt is doing it, even - AW-DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! - even Liz Kendall is doing it. You're just spoiling it for everyone."