Humza Yousaf tells SNP conference Scotland ready to rehome refugees from Gaza
First Minister Humza Yousaf has called for a UK-wide refugee resettlement scheme for those affected by the conflict in Gaza.
Giving the keynote speech at the SNP’s conference in Aberdeen, Yousaf – whose in-laws remain trapped in Gaza – said Scotland stood ready to be the first part of the UK to welcome refugees.
Yousaf contrasted Scotland’s welcoming approach to that of the UK Government, accusing Home Secretary Suella Braverman of “dog-whistle language” that panders to extremists.
He said: “In the past, people in Scotland and across the UK have opened our hearts and our homes to welcome those from Syria, Ukraine and many other countries. Conference, we must do so again.
“There are currently one million people displaced within Gaza. Therefore, I’m calling today on the international community to commit to a worldwide refugee programme for the people of Gaza.
“I’m calling on the UK Government to take two urgent steps. Firstly, they should begin work on the creation of refugee resettlement scheme for those in Gaza who want to and are able to leave. When they do so, Scotland is willing to be the first country in the UK to offer safety and sanctuary to those who are caught up in these terrible attacks.”
He also called on the UK Government to support the medical evacuation of injured civilians
He added: “Let me be clear, Scotland is ready to play her part. Our hospitals will treat the injured men, women and children of Gaza where we can.”
Contrasting Scotland’s approach with the government in London, Yousaf criticised Braverman for what he called “dog-whistle language”.
He said: “At the Tory conference, the UK Home Secretary warned about what she described as a ‘hurricane’ of migrants coming to the UK, and other western, countries.
“When I hear that dog-whistle language it makes me shudder. It makes me resolve to work even harder for independence - so that Scotland’s immigration policies are decided here in Scotland - never ever again by extremist Westminster politicians.”