NICOLA Sturgeon has hosted a series of top level discussions on a new blueprint for Scottish independence, it has emerged.

Three meetings have taken place on the plans - on November 24 2021, January 14, 2021 and February 3, 2022, according to a newspaper report today.

However, officials have refused to make public detailed minutes on discussions.

Documents obtained by The Scottish Sun shows the First Minister, Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson held talks with civil servants and advisers.

They discussed the “approach to the development and delivery” of a new prospectus for independence as well as what “topics” to include in the document.

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However, officials refused to provide further details claiming it could “impact the formulation of government policy”.

At the weekend the First Minister admitted there is still no date for a Holyrood Bill for a second independence referendum despite saying it January it was just “weeks” away.

“I haven't decided on the specific date for that right now,” said Ms Sturgeon, while maintaining that she was sticking to her plan to have Indyref2 next year.

The First Minister has said she wants a referendum by the end of 2023, Covid permitting, with Scotland then becoming independent in 2026.

However, Boris Johnson has refused to grant Holyrood the power it needs to hold a legally watertight vote, creating a constitutional impasse.

Ms Sturgeon has said she will pass a Referendum Bill at Holyrood regardless, however that would require prior sign-off by the Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain.

READ MORE: Plans to hold independence vote to be unveiled imminently, says Patrick Harvie

Any legislation would then almost certainly be challenged at the UK Supreme Court, where recent decisions suggest it would probably be struck down as legislatively incompetent.

It emerged last week that 15 officials, costing up to £900,000, are working on the renewed prospectus for independence.

Earlier this month The Herald revealed the legislation would not be published before the council elections on May 5.

In March Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Green's co-leader, said the bill, would be tabled in Holyrood "before too long".

The situation has led to growing frustration in the Yes movement, with two SNP MPs suggesting the next general election should be used as a de facto Indyref2.

The former SNP media boss Kevin Pringle recently conceded a new vote was “unlikely to take place” in 2023 “given the hurdles to be overcome and extensive preparations required”.

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Against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis and war in Ukraine, the latest polls also show little public appetite for Indyref2 in the next two years.

In February, the SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford appeared to suggest the war may lead to a pause in the timetable, however he later insisted that would not be the case after the FM said the war did not change the timing for a vote.

Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, Ms Sturgeon said Mr Pringle was “wrong” and she would carry on as she originally intended, based on the SNP’s Holyrood win last year.

She said: “I've set out the timetable I'm working to. Nothing has changed around that. Plans for that are underway, so nothing has changed.

“I won the mandate for that in an election this time last year."

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers are increasingly out of touch with the people of Scotland.

“Amid a cost-of-living crisis and pressure on local public services, the last thing the government should be focused on is how to divide Scotland once again.

“Taking up civil service time and resources like this is irresponsible and inappropriate. The entire focus of government should be on bringing people and communities together. 

“At the forthcoming local elections, voters can choose candidates who prioritise local services rather than SNP councillors who are only interested in an unwanted and divisive second referendum.

“As part of the UK we can ensure Scotland’s best days are ahead of us by investing more in local services, protecting jobs and livelihoods, and bringing communities together.”

A Scottish government spokesman said: “People in Scotland voted last May to elect a Scottish Parliament which has a clear majority in favour of holding an independence referendum.

“In line with that democratic mandate the programme for government stated that the Scottish Government would start work on a detailed prospectus for an independent Scotland.

“If the people of Scotland choose independence, the full range of powers of an independent country would allow Scotland to put in place a transformational recovery from the pandemic, one which will lead to a fairer and more sustainable and prosperous nation.”