Humza Yousaf has been accused of failing to see the parallels between Brexit and independence ahead of a speech attacking Labour and the Tories over Europe.

The First Minister will use a speech at the London School of Economics to claim that Scotland’s public services would be £1.6billion better off if the UK was still in the EU.

“Yet at Westminster there is agreement between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer that the UK should stay out of both the EU and the huge European Single Market – whatever the cost,” Mr Yousaf will say today as he makes the case for independence.

However the Scottish Liberal Democrats said the upheaval of independence would be Brexit “on steroids” and that the SNP’s economic credibility was “down the drain”.

Mr Yousaf is in London for a two-day visit that includes events with Westminster reporters and the European media, as well a podcast with LBC broadcaster James O’Brien.

The main event is a live-streamed speech from the LSE this afternoon aimed at “promoting Scotland’s economic potential”.

Titled “Building prosperity through social solidarity and economic dynamism”, it will outline the continued negative impact of Brexit on the economy and Scotland’s chance to “to break from the cosy Westminster no-change consensus through independence”.

The First Minister is expected to say the combined powers of independence and a return to EU membership would help drive up living standards and create a fairer, stronger Scottish economy.

“In Scotland, I believe there is broad public agreement that Brexit has damaged the economy and public services and that it should be reversed," he will say.

“The National Institute for Economic and Social Research suggests that compared to EU membership, the UK economy was 2.5% smaller in 2023, and it expects that figure to rise to 5.7% in little more than 10 years’ time.

“That means £69bn could have been wiped from national income in 2023, equating to £28bn of tax revenue - £2.3bn in terms of Scotland’s population share.

“Around 60% of spending in Scotland is on devolved services. With the same level of borrowing and taxation, that means without Brexit devolved spending power for our vital public services, such as the NHS, could have been £1.6bn higher than it is today.

“In other words, Scotland has suffered an estimated £1.6bn cut that could have been invested in our NHS because of a Brexit that people in Scotland overwhelmingly rejected.

“Giving people a choice over their future with the opportunity to escape the cosy Westminster no change consensus has never been more urgent or essential.”

LibDem MSP Willie Rennie said: "Humza Yousaf lost the argument over independence in 2014 and since then his arguments have only got worse.

"Everyone can see that Brexit has been bad for the economy, why would anyone want the same thing on steroids with independence?

"No one was forcing his government to make such a mess of the Ferguson ferries. 

“The SNP's economic credibility has poured down the drain."