NICOLA Sturgeon has acknowledged the Yes movement has still to build an “inclusive case for independence” capable of securing victory at a second referendum.

The First Minister said the movement must learn the “grave errors of the Brexiteers” who alienated rather than persuaded those who disagreed with them.

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Her comments about the need for further work appear to make it unlikely that she will announce a second referendum date when Holyrood returns from recess next week.

Ms Sturgeon has vowed to update MSPs on her thinking on Indyref2 after the Easter break.

In June 2017 she promised a “precise timescale” by the autumn of 2018, but an announcement has been repeatedly delayed because of uncertainty over Brexit.

Ms Sturgeon’s latest signal came in tweet in which she praised as “excellent” an article by Andrew Wilson, the former MSP who chaired the SNP’s Growth Commission.

Writing in the National, Mr Wilson said voter concerns still had to be “addressed authentically and over time”, and warned Yes supporters against counter-productive “spleen venting”.

He also said the Yes side needed a “crystal clear vision” of future relations with the UK.

Advocating reflection and hard graft rather than a dash for the polls, he said the Yes camp had “to consider the lessons of 2014, and all that has happened since, in some detail”.

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Promoting the article on Twitter, the First Minister said: “This is an excellent piece by Andrew Wilson about how we learn from the grave errors of the Brexiteers, build an inclusive case for independence and value the bonds of friendship that will always endure across our islands. Well worth a read.”

Mr Wilson said a key consideration would be to understand why almost three quarters of people born elsewhere in the UK but living in Scotland at the time voted No.

“For those from the rest of the UK, what are we saying? What is our tone? What will independence mean for them and their families and friends? How does the debate itself make them feel?” he wrote.

He said those voters would need to be persuaded that they would not lose their identity or sense of connections with the rest of the UK, their families and friends.

He wrote: “What we can be sure of is that if we adopt the tone and stance of the ‘Up Yours’ Brexiteers, we will not win, nor should we.

“Spleen venting does not persuade. It satisfies adherents, it does not win new ones.

“We need to clearly articulate our positive motivation to take responsibility for our own problems and opportunities. And we need a crystal-clear vision of how we will approach our ongoing relationship with all of the people of the rest of the UK, and yes, the government they have the misfortune to have chosen, too.”

He ended: “We only get the chance to build a different future if we win. To win we need to persuade. To persuade we need to learn the lessons of recent history – September 2014, June 2016 and every sorry month since.

“I sincerely believe an honest, clear prospectus that recognises the realities of how we transition to what we want to become will win and win big.”

Former Labour MP Pamela Nash, chief executive of the Scotland in Union group, said: “There is no such thing as an inclusive case for independence, which is why the SNP hasn’t been able to build it.

“By its nature, the campaign to leave the UK is divisive. It would involve erecting barriers between our family, friends and neighbours across the rest of the UK.

"The very last thing we need is more division in society, and the SNP should drop its unwanted plans for a second independence referendum.

"The majority of people in Scotland know we are stronger together and can build a successful, shared future as part of the UK.”