A NEW independence paper to be launched in the coming weeks will focus on the constitution, the Sunday National understands.

The paper which will be the first published since Humza Yousaf became leader of the SNP, is expected to look at how issues such as protecting the NHS, workers’ rights to strike and human rights can be enshrined in law once Scotland leaves the UK.

So far the Scottish Government has released three papers which are intended to form a new prospectus for an independent Scotland, looking at issues including such as UK performance compared to other countries around the world, democracy and economic and currency plans.

The First Minister has today launched a furious attack on the Tories accusing the party of ensuring that devolution is “becoming unworkable” following the ““constitutionally unprecedented abuse” of legislation which has blocked Scotland’s deposit return scheme.

READ MORE: Scotland's deposit return scheme to be delayed until 2025

Yousaf also called for Labour leader Keir Starmer to stand up for the powers of the Scottish Parliament and support the “basic principles of democracy” – or risk his party being on the “wrong side of history”.

It comes after the deposit return scheme (DRS), which has been due to launch next March in Scotland, was delayed until October 2025 at the earliest.

Circular economy minister Lorna Slater said she had “no choice”, accusing the UK Government of committing an “act of sabotage”, after it only granted a partial exemption to the Internal Market Act which would exclude glass containers from the DRS.

Yousaf also said that under Westminster control, Scotland is facing an “unprecedented situation” of laws passed in explicitly devolved areas being struck down by Tory ministers.

The most recent example is legislation on gender reform, which was passed by the Scottish Parliament, is now caught in a legal battle after the UK Government used the “veto power” of a section 35 order for the first time.

Meanwhile Yousaf highlighted issues around the Sewel convention, which means Westminster “will not normally” legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent of the devolved legislatures.

In the latest example, MSPs last week voted to withhold consent for amendments made to the EU Retained Law Bill.

Angus Robertson told the Scottish Parliament on Thursday that Scottish ministers were given less than eight working hours to consider amendments to the wide-sweeping bill, sometimes dubbed the Brexit Freedoms Bill.

The far-reaching legislation will have major implications for welfare protections, environmental and food standards in Scotland, alongside the devolution settlement, he added.

However the Sewel convention is not legally binding, so the UK parliament can pass bills without devolved consent.

The SNP said ten such “breaches” by Westminster have now been recorded, which is “something which would have been unthinkable just a few years ago”.

READ MORE: Westminster committee launches devolution inquiry

Yousaf said: “The last few weeks have brought into sharp focus the grim reality that under Westminster control, even the limited measure of self-government that devolution provides is no longer guaranteed. It is the case that this Tory Government has ensured that devolution in Scotland is becoming unworkable.

“We are facing a steady erosion of the powers of our Parliament, the routine undermining of the Sewel Convention, UK Government Ministers blocking laws passed by a majority of MSPs in explicitly devolved areas, and senior Tories interfering in the Scottish Government’s vital work abroad.

“All of this amounts to a pattern of unprecedented assaults on the Scottish Parliament – putting the entire devolution settlement at risk.”

Yousaf said addressing this would require “urgent and meaningful action” from all political parties supported the establishment of Holyrood almost 25 years ago.

But he said: “Yet, when it comes to standing up for our Parliament, Keir Starmer has been posted missing. Labour in London or Scotland have done absolutely nothing to protect people here from the Tories and their attempts to stop the Scottish Government from legislating in entirely devolved areas.

“There is now a real opportunity for Keir Starmer to show that he supports the basic principles of democracy, and devolution. He must recognise that urgently, or his party risks ending up on the wrong side of history.”

Yousaf added: “Scotland’s interests cannot be properly served by this Westminster system, and our best hope for the future lies in becoming an independent country – in a partnership of equals with our friends across the UK.

“That will allow us to make a real different for our people, our planet, and our future prosperity.”

A UK Government spokesman said it was “committed to working constructively with the Scottish Government to tackle our shared challenges”.

“That is what families and businesses in Scotland expect. That includes working together through our jointly agreed co-operation arrangements, and through the many projects in Scotland being delivered jointly by Scotland’s two governments, including city and growth deals and freeports,” the spokesman said.

“The UK Government is delivering for people in Scotland and right across the UK, concentrating on halving inflation, growing our economy.

“In Scotland we are working directly with local communities to invest £2.3 billion in a range of projects to improve communities and increase prosperity.

“That is on top of a record block grant for the Scottish Government of £41 billion a year.”