Scotland could be set to ditch the monarchy within five years, according to SNP's frontrunner Humza Yousaf.
Yousaf, who is the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Justice, has declared that Scotland is on the brink of becoming a republic if the SNP wins the next general election.
The SNP have been campaigning for an independent Scotland for many years now and have been stepping up their efforts in recent months, with Yousaf saying that the SNP are now in a position to “force through a referendum on independence.”
Yousaf claims that if Scotland votes to become independent, it would mean that the monarchy would no longer have a place in the country.
Yousaf told the Daily Mail: “We have a clear path to independence and we are determined to take it. We are confident that with a majority in the Scottish Parliament we can force through a referendum on independence and in doing so, create a new, independent nation of Scotland.
“A vote for independence would also mean that Scotland would no longer be part of the United Kingdom, and so the monarchy would no longer have a place in Scotland. We believe that Scotland should be an independent country, free from the monarchy and any other foreign authority.”
The SNP are currently the largest party in the Scottish Parliament, but they do not yet have a majority. They will need to win an outright majority in the upcoming election to give them the mandate to call for a referendum on independence.
Yousaf believes that if the SNP can achieve a majority, a referendum on independence could be held within five years, meaning that Scotland could become a republic within the same timeframe.
The SNP's plans for independence have been met with opposition from the UK Government who have been clear that they will not support Scottish independence.
Yousaf's comments come as speculation increases as to when the Scottish Parliament will call a referendum on independence. The SNP have been pushing for a referendum to be held in 2021, but the UK Government has refused to give its backing to the proposal.
Only time will tell whether Scotland will become an independent republic within the next five years, but it is clear that the SNP are determined to push for it.