Humza Yousaf to meet Rishi Sunak during London trip
Mr Yousaf will meet the Prime Minister amid the looming court battle between Holyrood and Westminster after Scottish Secretary Alister Jack blocked the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.
The First Minister has previously said challenging the UK Government’s block on the gender Bill was “our only means of defending our Parliament’s democracy from the Westminster veto” but Mr Sunak said Westminster had taken “very careful and considered advice” on the issue before acting.
The London meeting, which will be on Monday evening, also comes after the Scottish Government delayed the introduction of its deposit return scheme from August to March next year, in a move that circular economy minister Lorna Slater blamed on Westminster.
She said the delay was primarily due to the UK Government not providing an exemption to the Internal Market Act, which was implemented after Britain left the European Union to regulate trade within the country.
During their talks Mr Yousaf is expected to raise the 10.1% tax hike on Scotch whisky, alongside the UK Government “refusing to provide the energy-bill support the rest of the drinks industry receives”.
“It’s time for the Prime Minister to bring fairness back to the way whisky is treated and I will make that crystal clear when we meet today,” the First Minister said ahead of the meeting.
During his time in the UK capital Mr Yousaf will also meet London mayor Sadiq Khan and with ambassadors, including those from Germany and Ukraine, the Scottish Government said.
While the meeting will be the first in person since the SNP leader was made Scotland’s First Minister last month, it will not be their first conversation.
The pair spoke via telephone after Mr Yousaf was chosen by MSPs to be First Minister on March 28.
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