STEPHEN Flynn has laughed off a suggestion that independence is on the “back-burner” ahead of Humza Yousaf’s meeting with Rishi Sunak

The First Minister will meet with the Prime Minister on Monday where he will make the call for the whisky industry to be treated fairly. 

The SNP's Westminster group leader was asked what he expected to be discussed during Yousaf's meeting with Sunak. 

He was asked by the host of Good Morning Scotland Laura Maxwell if independence was on the “back-burner”.

Laughing off the question, Flynn said: “No I think it goes without saying Laura that myself and all my colleagues in the Scottish National Party still remain fervent believers in independence.

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“And as you rightly highlighted in your initial remarks, the First Minister, one of his initial acts was to ask the UK Prime Minister to allow us to have that democratic right to decide our own future and we’ll continue to push for that right to be had. 

“After all, the people of Scotland have voted for that. They’ve voted for a majority of parliamentarians in the Scottish Parliament who are in favour of a Scottish independence referendum and the UK Westminster Parliament should be accepting that.”

Flynn was also asked about Scotland’s gender reform legislation. The Scottish Government is taking Westminster to court over its use of a Section 35 order to stop the legislation from being given Royal Assent - despite being backed by an overwhelming majority of MSPs. 

“We shouldn’t be in this situation," Flynn said.

"Holyrood’s mandate should be respected and whether you agree or indeed disagree with the legislation as many people do, the reality is that this is a blatant attack on Holyrood’s powers and that shouldn’t be allowed to happen."

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Asked if court action was the best way forward, he added: “Well of course as I said we don’t want to be in this situation. 

“If the UK Government had come to the table and engaged then we wouldn’t be here but they chose not to do that and they chose not to do that because they don’t want to engage on this topic.”

He called the Statement of Reasons, which outlined why the UK Government had blocked Scotland’s gender reform, “wafer thin”.