Eastern Eye (UK)

Focus on independen­ce fight


SNP LEADERSHIP hopeful Humza Yousaf said he would go all out to press for Scotland’s independen­ce if he succeeds Nicola Sturgeon as the first minister of the country.

The Scottish health secretary, who is among three aspirants left in the race for his party’s leadership, said he would use “any means necessary” in his attempt to make his country a sovereign state.

“To achieve independen­ce, we will use any means necessary within a legal framework, of course,” the Pakistan-origin politician told BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show. “Let’s take nothing off the table” to split from

the UK.

After the defeat of the Scottish independen­ce referendum in 2014, the SNP has been calling for a second vote. The British government, however, has rejected the proposal and the UK Supreme Court’s ruling in November last year was in line with Westminste­r’s view.

Opinion polls have consistent­ly shown the popular sentiment is not in favour of Scotland’s split from the UK. According to a YouGov poll for Sky News this week, only 39 per cent of Scottish voters support independen­ce, compared to 47 per cent who wish to remain part of the union. It is a marginal decline in support for going it alone compared to a previous YouGov poll in February, when 40 per cent of people favoured independen­ce.

Yousaf also insisted if Scotland leaves the UK, his country should debate whether it should become a republic or continue with the British monarch as the head of state. “I don’t know why we should be shy about that (talking about monarchy)”, Yousaf told the National newspaper.

His view contrasts with Sturgeon who has previously said Scotland would remain a constituti­onal monarchy if it left the union.

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