• Monday, December 11, 2023


Yousaf’s plan for Scotland’s independence may not work: SNP MP

The first minister suggested that if SNP wins the ‘most MPs’ in the next election, it should count as a vote to break away

Scotlnand’s First Minister Humza Yousaf (Photo by Robert Perry/Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A VETERAN SNP MP has said first minister Humza Yousaf’s plan to secure Scotland’s independence is unlikely to succeed.

Yousaf told an SNP conference in Dundee on June 24 that a referendum was the preferred way to break away from the UK. But if it fails, the SNP would ask people to “vote SNP for independence” in the next general election expected next year and then negotiate with the UK government.

He told Sky News later: “We will put a very simple proposition to the people of Scotland… a vote for the SNP is a vote for Scotland to become an independent country.”

And if the SNP wins the election, “we will then seek to negotiate with the UK government how we give democratic effect to that proposition.”

He suggested that if his party wins “the most” MPs in the election, it should be considered as a vote for Scotland’s independence.

His predecessor Nicola Sturgeon had proposed 50 per cent plus one vote as a de facto referendum.

But Pete Wishart, the SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, does not expect a positive response from the UK government.

“We are not responsible for how the UK responds to these situations and what we will have done is demonstrate to the UK and the world that Scotland has decided to be an independent nation,” he told Holyrood magazine.

“Whether that elicits some sort of positive response from the UK, I don’t know, but they might actually go, ‘Oh, all right, you’ve done it’, and will move things forward,” he said.

The government in London has repeatedly asserted that the 2014 referendum, in which Scots voted in favour of being part of the UK, settled the independence question for a generation.

But Sturgeon revived the issue after the Brexit vote two years later when Scotland opted to remain in the European Union while a majority in the UK voted to leave.

She pushed for another independence vote and moved the Supreme Court which in November last year ruled that the power to do so rested with the UK government.

The SNP currently represents 48 of Scotland’s 59 constituencies in the UK parliament but a YouGov forecast it could lose 21 of them if there were a general election.

Eastern Eye

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