TWO former SNP politicians have launched a new pro-independence, anti-EU party for next year’s Holyrood election.

Former South of Scotland MSP Chic Brodie and Renfrewshire councillor Andy Doig said Scotia Future would stand for “real independence” outside the European Union.

SNP policy is for an independent Scotland to rejoin the EU after independence and minimise the damage from Brexit.

Around a third of SNP supporters voted Leave in the 2016 referendum, representing a possible gap in the market for Scotia Future.

However the proliferation of smaller independence parties such as Scotia Future could also fragment the Yes vote in the spring.

READ MORE: Former SNP MSP Dave Thompson to form new party 

The new party also said it wanted “a Scotland of equals”, with federalism distributing power across the country evenly instead of a centralising government in Edinburgh.

Scotia Future, which has been a year in the making and is registered with the Electoral Commission, intends to stand candidates in both seats and on regional lists next May.

Mr Brodie said: “It has never been clearer that devolution has had its day. 

“Westminster and Holyrood are broken, but the only choice for Scotland is not a binary one between a dwindling voice in the UK and so-called independence in the EU. 

“We have better options. Scotia Future believes in real independence. 

For example, it is unwise to seek to trade Scottish sovereignty away to the pro-austerity and centralised EU before we have even gained independence. 

“We favour a bespoke deal for Scotland with the EU similar to that of Switzerland, which is vital to safeguard Scotland’s sovereignty on the economy and defence.”

Cllr Andy Doig added: “Scotia Future has three key aims, real Scottish independence, economic justice, and giving power back to communities. 

“We do not just want to change flags but to change society.  

“We seek a Scotland of equals where merit is the gold standard, a Scotland which is a fair and enterprising country based on co-operative principles and values.

“Centralisation is extremely damaging to communities and we believe that decisions that can be taken at local level should be. 

“But to safeguard this restoration of real local democracy we seek to enshrine the principle of subsidiarity to give power back to communities. With the independence we seek all parts of Scotland will have their voice heard, urban and rural.”

Mr Brodie, 76, was an MSP for a single term from 2011 to 2016, but is fondly remembered at Holyrood for his resemblance to, and singing impressions of, Elvis Presley.

Mr Doig, was previously an SNP councillor but quit the party after 38 years in 2017 after being briefly suspended for alleged homophobic comments about a gay MSP. 

He also called a female Yes campaigner “seriously stacked” in a "spoof" news release.

READ MORE: SNP candidate out of Holyrood race after comments about gay minister

He currently represents the Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch ward in Renfrewshire as an Independent.

His wife Audrey Doig is an SNP councillor for the Houston, Crosslee and Linwood ward on the same council.

Former SNP MSP Dave Thompson has also set up a new party, Action for Independence (AFI), with the aim of standing in list seats in May to “Max the Yes’ at Holyrood.

However he has struggled to find other parties willing to work with him, other than Tommy Sheridan’s Solidarity, and AFI has yet to be registered by the Electoral Commission. 

Also potentially splitting the Yes vote is the new Independence for Scotland Party.

The SNP and Greens are both standing on the lists, with the SNP running in all 73 constituencies as well.

Scotia Future said its four main aims were: 

Full Scottish independence – based on the indivisible sovereignty of the Scottish people and the establishment of an independent Scottish state, government, central bank, and currency.

The elimination of poverty and the creation of prosperity as twin and compatible objectives, with the aim of building a fair and enterprising Scotland based on co-operative principles.

A Federal Scotland – respecting the regional diversity of Scotland a federal system of government will be established which will be decentralist and based on the principle of subsidiarity.

To contest elections to the Scottish Parliament to further the above aims.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “This is just yet another nationalist outfit that wants to divide communities.

“Whatever brand of nationalism it is, it’s still about dividing people.

“We are in the midst of a devastating pandemic that will take years to recover from, and we all should be completely focused on bringing people and communities together.”