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by Kirsteen Paterson
12 October 2023
SNP independence strategy 'likely' to change to 'majority' of general election seats

First Minister Humza Yousaf

SNP independence strategy 'likely' to change to 'majority' of general election seats

The SNP leadership is set to agree winning a "majority" of seats at the next general election will provide a mandate for negotiating independence, it is understood.

At SNP conference, delegates will consider whether to back a joint motion by leader Humza Yousaf and Stephen Flynn, the party's leader at Westminster.

The motion says that the Scottish Government will be "empowered to begin immediate negotiations with the UK Government to give democratic effect to Scotland becoming an independent country" if the SNP "wins the most seats at the general election in Scotland".

However, the Daily Record reports that party leaders are open to changing the wording from "most" to "majority" of seats.

The SNP declined to comment but a party source told Holyrood that the change is "likely".

Last month, Yousaf said he would "consider amendments as they came up".

The so-called "de facto referendum" plan emerged as the Scottish Government prepared for a Supreme Court case over whether MSPs had the power to hold an advisory ballot on the constitution with UK Government agreement.

The plan was announced to the Scottish Parliament by Nicola Sturgeon and several SNP politicians said they had not known the contents of that speech before it was made.

There has since been debate over whether such a strategy would work and what the threshold should be to establish a mandate for independence.

The motion currently states: "Conference believes that if the SNP subsequently wins the most seats at the general election in Scotland, the Scottish Government is empowered to begin immediate negotiations with the UK Government to give democratic effect to Scotland becoming an independent country."

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