BREXIT was a “national tragedy”, the First Minister is set to tell the Edinburgh Yes rally, as he will make the case for fixing the “historic wrong” of leaving the EU.

Humza Yousaf will also make a pledge to “value” New Scots contributions to the country, insisting that Westminster has taken Scotland down “the wrong path”.

The march and rally for an independent Scotland in the EU, hosted by Believe in Scotland and Yes for EU, will feature a range of speakers from the Yes movement, including the FM.

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Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Independence, Lorna Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, will speak at the rally on Saturday, joined by National columnist Lesley Riddoch and Believe in Scotland co-founder Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp among others.

It comes after Succession star Brian Cox cancelled his appearance at the event after catching Covid-19.

Ahead of the event, Scottish Greens MSP Slater said that Scotland can have a fairer, greener and better future as an independent country in the EU.

Speaking outside Holyrood, Yousaf (below) will tell the audience that Scotland can get “back on the right track” by rejoining the EU.

The National: Humza Yousaf

“As we gather here today - in the European capital of a European nation - we are reminded that Brexit is nothing short of a national tragedy,” the FM is expected to say.

“But the fact that it was forced upon Scotland against our will also makes it a democratic disgrace.

“To those of you with us today who are new Scots, who were born outside of Scotland, let us say this.

“Let us tell you how much we value you being here – how much we value the contribution you make to Scotland.

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“We could not be what we are today without you.

“And for as long as I can do anything about it, you will always be welcome here.”

The FM will add that independence would allow Scotland to “put right the historic wrong of Brexit”.

“Westminster is taking us down the wrong path. It’s not just that we are facing a cost of living crisis - Scotland is facing a cost of Westminster crisis,” he will add.

The National: The Union Flag, Saltire of Scotland and EU flag fly outside the entrance to the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh on January 29, 2020. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images).

“But by taking Scotland’s future into our own hands, we can get back on the right track.

“We can rejoin the world’s largest trading bloc – one that is seven times larger than the UK by population.

“We can be at the top table of the EU as an independent member state – working in partnership with countries across Europe.

“We can - once again - be at the heart of Europe where we belong.”

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Meanwhile, Slater (below) said she was “proud” to be speaking at the rally and making the case for Scotland within the EU.

“Brexit has been a disaster for Scotland. It has meant higher prices in shops, extra costs and hurdles for local business, staffing shortages in retail and care, and curbs on the right to work, live and travel across Europe,” she said.

“We were told it was about ‘taking back control’ but the UK Government has used it as an excuse to give itself veto powers over key policy areas.

The National: Scottish Green minister and party co-leader Lorna Slater

“The people of Scotland rejected Brexit at the time and we still do.

“Freedom of movement and trade in the EU were amazing political achievements. I want us all to have those rights again and for young people to benefit for generations to come.

“But there is no way of regaining what we have lost if we are stuck between a Tory government in Downing Street and a Labour opposition that is committed to keeping Brexit.”

The Scottish Greens MSP added that Scotland doesn’t “have time to wait for Westminster to do the right thing” as the longer Brexit goes on the more damage will need to be undone.

“So many of the biggest challenges we face can only be tackled by independent governments working together,” she said.

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“It is only with the powers of a normal independent country that we can regain the rights and benefits we lost and choose our own future as a positive, progressive and welcoming nation.”

A UK Government spokesman said: “People in Scotland want both their governments to be concentrating on the issues that matter most to them, like growing our economy, halving inflation and improving public services.

“We want to work constructively with the Scottish Government to tackle our shared challenges because that is what families and businesses in Scotland expect.

The National: Iona Fyfe. STY NAtional..Pic Gordon Terris Herald & Times..17/1/22.

“This is not the time to be talking about distracting constitutional change.”

The march and rally for an independent Scotland in the EU will begin at 13:30 on Johnson Terrace, Edinburgh, with speeches outside the Scottish Parliament.

Other speakers include folk singer Iona Fyfe (above), who will perform at the event, Linda Jackson, from Scotland in Europe, and Claude Detrez, from Europe for Scotland.

It will be hosted by Alistair Heather and National columnist Kelly Given.