Yousaf would scrap his British citizenship if Scotland became independent

The First Minister said he would only keep his Scottish citizenship.

Humza Yousaf: I would scrap my British citizenship if Scotland became independent Scottish Government

Humza Yousaf has said he would scrap his British citizenship if Scotland became an independent country.

Speaking after he launched the Scottish Government’s latest paper on independence, the First Minister also said passports in Scotland would be burgundy if it left the UK.

The latest prospectus sets out what the strategy around citizenship could look like for an independent Scotland.

The SNP leader said Scotland could mirror Ireland’s model and allow people of Scottish descent to apply to become nationals while those with Scottish parents would automatically become citizens of an indepedent Scotland.

The proposals suggest that those who do not want Scottish citizenship can keep their British citizenship.

Asked if he would keep his British passport, Yousaf said: “I’ve not thought much about it but I probably wouldn’t, no.

“I would just have my Scottish citizenship.”

The First Minister said those from the rest of the UK would also be “welcome” to move to Scotland and become citizens in order to regain access to the EU, which Scotland would look to join.

Scottish passports would follow current EU guidelines and be burgundy in colour, he said.

The prospectus marks the fifth instalment by the Scottish Government on its Building a New Scotland series.

Yousaf, who described himself as a “proud Scottish Pakistani”, said the “welcoming” and “inclusive” approach being set out could attract more people to Scotland and help tackle the demographic challenge the country faces, with an increasingly elderly population and fewer people of working age.

The First Minister said: “We know that one of the biggest challenges we face is that demographic challenge, and therefore having more people of working age coming here contributing, living, studying, working in Scotland, I think is a good thing.”

Opposition parties have labelled the paper a “waste of money”.

Donald Cameron, Scottish Conservative MSP and shadow constitution secretary, said: “People across Scotland will be appalled that Humza Yousaf is focusing on yet another self-indulgent paper touting independence. It is the wrong priority at the worst possible time.

“This paper is not only a blatant misuse of public money and resources by the SNP, but it also demonstrates how out of touch they are with the public.”

He added: “Rather than wasting taxpayers’ money and civil servants’ time on pushing a divisive, party political agenda, a strong First Minister would be concentrating on Scots’ real priorities – cost of living difficulties, unacceptable NHS waiting times and the ferries crisis.

“We know the SNP want to make the next election another referendum on independence – but separation would mean a new hard border between Scotland and England, which would devastate the economy.

“The SNP don’t seem to have even thought about this huge issue, while choosing to dwell on citizenship instead.”

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