THE Orange Order has begun preparations to convince its members to vote against Scottish independence next year, it has emerged.
• Orange Order declares interest in campaigning for No vote
• Religious organisation positions itself to gain political influence
The religious organisation has sought to apply to community councils and will lobby councillors on the prospect of getting itself involved in the anti-independence movement.
Leaflets have been produced by the Order as it tries to communicate to members how independence will affect them.
The formation of a political party has also been discussed by members of the Order post-independence, as their political influence is stymied by their designation as a religious organisation.
Members believe that securing seats in Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Glasgow could be key to hold the balance of power, according to The Herald.
The Order also plans to join roadshows taking place across Glasgow and surrounding regions as senior figures intend to visit all Scottish lodges before the summer’s Glasgow Games to ensure a high turnout on the day of the referendum on September 18.
Meanwhile, an attempt has been made to join the Townhead and Ladywell Community Council in Glasgow, but it has been told it is not permitted to join as a religious group.
A source at the Order told The Herald: “The Orange Order is gearing up to get involved. However, members have to realise this isn’t Northern Ireland and we don’t have the same clout in the Scottish context.”
A spokesman said: “The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland is continuing to internally discuss its strategy for the independence referendum and will make this public in due course.”