Humza Yousaf has urged Scots to back independence as the only way to protect the powers of the Scottish Parliament – as he warned that the attempts to sabotage Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme are “the thin end of the wedge.”
Speaking as he took part in an SNP National Day of Action, the First Minister said that an “increasingly unpredictable and erratic” Westminster government was making it harder to make Scotland a better place to live, to work and to do business.
His comments follow the revelation from the First Minister of Wales that the Welsh Government had received a letter from the UK Government ripping up a previous commitment to respect Welsh devolution on this issue – and warning them that they must also comply with the UK’s unilateral decision to remove glass from their scheme.
Campaigning in Glasgow Pollok, Mr Yousaf said:
“The people of Scotland voted for a Scottish Parliament – and that parliament has made Scotland a better and fairer country.
“But it’s now clear that devolution is not a one-way street – an increasingly unpredictable and erratic Westminster government is stepping in on a whim to unilaterally block decisions taken by the elected Scottish Parliament.
“And make no mistake, the attempts to sabotage the Deposit Return Scheme are the thin end of the wedge.
“This is not the first time – and it will not be the last time – the Tories try to trample all over the Scottish Parliament.
“This issue is not some abstract constitutional debate – it really matters to how we deliver for the people of Scotland, and how we make our country a better place to live, to work and to do business.
“If Labour in Scotland really believed in a strong Scottish Parliament, they would be standing alongside us in our efforts to protect devolution – but it took the visit of Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford to Edinburgh this week to hear any Labour politician speaking out on this matter in Scotland.
“As long as we are under Westminster control, Scotland will always be at the mercy of Westminster governments we did not vote for, and decisions over which we have no control – and that’s why becoming independent is essential.
“The SNP believe in independence because it offers real change for Scotland – allowing us to escape from this broken Westminster system and build a new partnership with the people across these islands.
“Using those powers, we can put the health and happiness of citizens equal to the importance of economic growth.”