Humza Yousaf: 'Obvious' that independence is not the consistent, settled will of the Scottish people'

The first minister made the comments in an interview with the BBC

Humza Yousaf has said Scottish independence will be “front and centre” of the SNP’s general election campaign – but admitted it was not currently “the consistent, settled will of the Scottish people”.

He told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show that at the next general election “very simply a vote for the SNP is going to be a vote for independence”.

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Discussing polling on independence, he said different polls showed support above or below 50 per cent.

First Minister Humza Yousaf (Getty Images)First Minister Humza Yousaf (Getty Images)
First Minister Humza Yousaf (Getty Images)

The First Minister said: “I don’t want to be there or thereabouts, I want independence to be the consistent, settled will.

“At the moment, for example, it’s pretty obvious that independence is not the consistent, settled will of the Scottish people.”

Asked if it is realistic that Scotland would not be independent within five years, he said: “Not if I’ve got anything to do with it.”

Mr Yousaf also said the SNP could “make life very difficult” for Labour after the next general election if Sir Keir Starmer does not co-operate with it.

He said a demand for a second independence referendum would be “top of the list” of his party’s requests if Labour needs help forming a government at Westminster.

The Labour leader has repeatedly said he will not do a deal with the SNP after the election.

The SNP leader also said he has spoken to former first minister Nicola Sturgeon recently and said she is “in a good place and doing well”.

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He continued: “Why would I not want to get some advice from arguably one of the best politicians, the most impressive politicians, Europe has seen over the last couple of decades?”

On the general election expected next year, he said the SNP will not prop up a Tory minority government, but noted minority governments often need help passing budgets.

Mr Yousaf said: “We would never prop up a Conservative government, ever. Underline that, put that in bold.

“But, of course, if Labour do not want to co-operate with us, then we would make life very difficult for them.”

This could include on the legislative process and the passing of budgets, he said.

Mr Yousaf, who succeeded Ms Sturgeon as SNP leader and First Minister in March, also ruled out a suggestion from Alex Salmond that pro-independence parties should form an alliance at the general election.

Later this month, SNP members will gather for a special convention to discuss the way forward in their push for independence.



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