Humza Yousaf has said that Boris Johnson and the Westminster Government can expect a legal battle if they try and prevent a pro-independence majority seeking to hold Indyref2. 

Speaking exclusively on The Brian Taylor podcast, which broadcast a special live edition for the election, Mr Yousaf was asked by the host how the SNP could 'promise' something that was in the remit of the UK Government. 

The newly-elected MSP said: "If there is a pro-independence majority, returned to the Scottish Parliament, then we cannot deny democracy.

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"There was a precedent there around a majority, but the much older precedent that exists is that when political parties win an election, then the manifesto on which they stood on is the one that should be taken forward."

Host Brian Taylor then said: "You are promising something that is in the remit of the UK Government" to which Yousaf replied: "We wouldn't have brought forward a referendum bill, and we wouldn’t be saying that we’d be bringing a referendum forward if we weren't quite confident in the legal position we have.

"Now if Boris Johnson wants to challenge that in the courts, then we’ll see them in the courts."

Yousaf, who served as Cabinet Secretary for Justice since 2018 and was re-elected last night was also joined on the podcast by Daniel Johnson, who held Edinburgh South in the first day of results in the Scottish Election. 

Johnson also quizzed Yousaf on the points he made to Brian Taylor. He said: "If we’re looking at precedent, the precedent last time was having an absolute majority from the SNP. 

"Politically, and this is the mistake that the Conservative government have been making for the last five years in particular, is pretending that devolution doesn’t exist, or pretending that, actually, people in Scotland don’t see devolution as being the centre of Scottish politics and trying to ignore it. 

He then asked Yousaf: "Are you saying that it would be legal for you to proceed with the referendum without the consent of the UK Government?

"That seems to be what you’re hinting at, and that’s quite a bold - I don’t think I have ever heard somebody say it as boldly as that before. 

"You would have, if you’d have heard Mike Russell, or read any of what Mike Russell has written in recent few weeks or months.

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"It’s nothing new that I’m saying here - and in fact, the First Minister has emphasized it today on a number of broadcasts. That we would hold that referendum and if Boris Johnson or UK Government wish to take us to court, despite the fact that there would be a pro-independence majority in parliament, then I suppose we’d see him in court.

"But again, the immediate priority would be the recovery from the pandemic. But what I would say to Daniel and to Andrew, is that, for the SNP, and for the majority of people in Scotland who understand this, the issue of a Covid recovery and independence are not completely separate issues.

"There’s an interlinkage here. If I was to talk about just one policy that the SNP are in favour of, which is Universal Basic Income, we cannot fully enact a Universal Basic Income unless we have the full financial powers to do so."

Mr Yousaf won the Glasgow Pollok constituency with 18,163 votes.