THE SNP cannot simply “shout independence louder” and must realise there is “much to learn” from the opposing viewpoint, Humza Yousaf is expected to say on Monday.

The First Minister will make an address at Glasgow University, the first in a series which will centre on the economy as he sets out his party’s case ahead of the next General Election.

Yousaf will argue that the need for independence is “urgent” in order to address the economic situation the country faces as part of the UK.

He is also expected to offer an olive branch to Unionist voters, as Scottish Labour’s Anas Sarwar makes a parallel pitch aimed at people who support independence.

Yousaf will say: “There will be those who will never support independence. That doesn’t mean those people should be dismissed. Far from it.

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“There is much to learn from an opposing perspective. And we can all still engage, even if to disagree, respectfully.

“There will be others who are sympathetic to independence but who are not yet persuaded or who don’t think this is the right time.

“It is my argument that independence is urgent. It is urgent precisely because the cost of living is top of people’s concerns.

“Because it is through independence, and in particular the powerful combination of independence and EU membership, that we can raise living standards.”

Yousaf will say that Yes supporters should not simply shout “independence ever louder,” instead the Scottish Government must set out an “alternative path: one that leads to a renewed sense of possibility”.

“It should then be for the people of Scotland to decide between those two futures,” he will say.

“And this is where the case for optimism comes in. Scotland has extraordinary resources such as renewable energy and key economic strengths such as our great universities.”

The National: First Minister and SNP leader Humza Yousaf insisted his party’s finances are on a ‘steady footing’ – despite figures showing its deficit grew to more than £800,000 in 2022 (Robert Perry/PA)

The First Minister will go on to detail Scotland capabilities in renewable technologies, the food and drink and financial sector as reasons to be optimistic about an independent Scotland, adding: “There is further reason for optimism, the real-life shining example for Scotland that we can aspire to: independent countries that are significantly fairer and wealthier than the UK.

“Countries like Ireland, Norway and Denmark have both higher productivity and lower inequality than the UK.

“In other words, they combine economic dynamism with social solidarity. So, with all our strengths, the key question is this: why not Scotland?”

The First Minister is also expected to say that independence would raise living standards and productivity in Scotland, claiming Scottish families would be more than £10,000 better off outside the UK, which he called “the prize of independence”.

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The claim is based on a report from the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance and the Resolution Foundation. Published in December, it said that UK workers are missing out on £10,700 a year after more than a decade of weak economic growth and high inequality.

The report, which was written following a three-year inquiry from top academics, also said that there was a living standards gap worth £8300 between typical households in the UK and their average counterparts in nations such as France, Australia, Canada, and Germany.

Yousaf’s speech will take place just hours after Sarwar will make an overt pitch to SNP voters to lend his party their support to beat the Tories.

“We may ultimately disagree on the final destination for Scotland, but on this part of the journey, let’s unite to change our country and get rid of this Tory government,” the Scottish Labour group leader will say.