THE SNP will "welcome all ideas" to ensure a second independence referendum is held if the calls continue to fall on deaf ears at Westminster - amid speculation a court battle could be on the cards.

Delegates at the SNP conference overwhelmingly voted in favour of a motion committing the party to seeking a referendum on Scottish independence if it secures a majority at May's Holyrood election.

Several key SNP figures have used this weekend's conference to compare Boris Johnson’s refusal to listen to calls for a re-run of the 2014 referendum to tactics used by Donald Trump.

READ MORE: Former Labour adviser declares Scottish independence support

SNP Constitutional Secretary, Mike Russell, told delegates that if the Prime Minister still refuses a second referendum being held, it “will have implications and consequences well beyond these shores”, claiming the world has woken up to the UK Government’s “unreliability”.

He said: “There's a lesson to be taken from Joe Biden. Confronted with anti-democratic ravings form Donald Trump, he didn’t match them with threats or losses – he matched them with a confident and flawless commitment to the democratic process.”

Mr Russell added: “The world is already watching Johnson – the Internal Market Bill and the attempt to renege on an international agreement signed just a few months ago has alerted not just the EU, but others as well to the unreliability of the current UK Government.

“If the people of Scotland vote to have their say, refusing that will have implications and consequences well beyond these shores.”

Mr Russell called on the party to be “prepared for all eventualities”, but warned the SNP must “show unity of purpose” and “not be tempted by that particularly Scottish trait – rushing to a glorious defeat”.

Earlier, he was quizzed on BBC Sunday Politics Scotland about calls from some corners of the party to legislate for a second referendum at Holyrood, which could lead to a fight in the courts as touted by one of the party's leading MPs, Joanna Cherry.

Mr Russell said he would “welcome all ideas” and pointed to a national assembly of the party meeting to discuss alternative 'Plan B' steps early next year.

He said: “Joanna will be very welcome to put that idea - I’m open to ideas from a to z.

“I think there are a range of things we could take forward and I’m going to welcome Joanna’s contribution as I’m going to welcome the contributions of many others. I don’t believe there’s this division about it.

“Let’s have that debate, let’s have that discussion about how we get there. It’s always at its best as a united party, a party working together.

“We need to work with our head and our heart to make sure that we achieve what we have set out to achieve.”

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry : Scotland on a “highway” to independence

Speaking in favour of Mr Russell’s independence resolution, Ms Cherry pointed to a “majority support for devolution” being ignored by the Conservatives between referendums – insisting that “should give pause for thought to those who say we don’t need a Plan B”.

She added: “If we win the Scottish election next year, and I very much hope we will, then it would be positively Trumpian for Boris Johnson to veto a second referendum. But if ever any United Kingdom Prime Minister was capable of Trumpian behaviour, then it’s Boris Johnson.

“It makes sense for us to think about what we should do if he continues to veto a second referendum.”

Ms Cherry also suggested that the newly-elected national executive committee (NEC), of which she is standing for election to, should focus on the independence cause – leaving the First Minister to continue tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: “All this work needs to be pulled together and packaged for consumption by the voters before the next independence referendum.

“There's really a lot of work to be done so let’s make sure our new NEC gets started on that work and frees up our First Minister and her government to get on with tackling the Covid crisis whilst we, the members of the party, plan for the independence future that will follow.”

Speaking on Sunday Politics Scotland, Scotland Office Minister David Duguid said the Scottish Government asking Mr Johnson for a second referendum “shouldn’t even be a question”.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, added: “The SNP’s priorities are all wrong. While a virus is decimating livelihoods and tragically taking lives, the nationalists are spending their time debating how to divide Scotland.

“Mike Russell’s suggestion of legislating for a second referendum at Holyrood raises the prospect of a lengthy and costly legal fight between governments at a time when the entire focus should be on recovering from the pandemic.

“The people of Scotland don't need a party which is obsessed with trying to tear us apart - we need politicians to focus on uniting us.”