By: Chandrashekar Bhat
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 fray for his party’s leadership, said he would use “any means necessary” including a snap Scotland election in his attempt to make Scotland a sovereign state.
“To achieve independence, we will use any means necessary that is within a legal framework, of course,” the Pakistan-origin politician told BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show.
“Let’s take nothing off the table” to break up from the UK, “whether it’s a de facto referendum (or) whether it’s using a Holyrood election,” he said.
After the defeat of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, the SNP has been agitating 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 the view held by Westminster.
To make the matter worse for the SNP, opinion polls have consistently indicated 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 independence compared to a previous YouGov poll in February when 40 per cent of people favoured independence.
Last month, Sturgeon resigned as Scotland’s first minister, leaving the question of independence unsolved. Yousaf, Scotland’s finance secretary Kate Forbes and former minister Ash Regan are vying to succeed Sturgeon.
The voting for the leadership began on Monday (13) with Yousaf trailing Forbes in opinion polls. The result of the leadership contest will be declared on March 27.
Yousaf also insisted if Scotland leaves the UK, his country should be open to 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.[TheChamp-Sharing]