SNP and Greens to confirm powersharing agreement at Holyrood

An official announcement on a co-operation agreement is expected on Friday afternoon.

SNP and Greens to confirm powersharing agreement at Holyrood iStock

The SNP and the Scottish Greens are set to confirm a co-operation agreement and an announcement is expected on Friday, STV News understands.

In May, Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs talks would begin on a co-operation agreement between the two parties, which would act to formalise the majority in favour of independence, while also ensuring they work together on specific policy positions.

The talks appeared to be winding down, with an email sent to Green members, first reported by the PA news agency, saying the wording of the deal would be provided to them by August 20.

Ahead of the official announcement, the Scottish Tories and Labour have attacked the agreement.

Tory net zero spokesman Liam Kerr said the Green manifesto from May’s election was a “doctrine to start a war on working Scotland”, after it proposed a move away from North Sea oil and gas, and the end of new road-building projects.

Greens have insisted their proposals to end extraction and exploration in the North Sea would be part of a “just transition” and would include retraining for the workforce in the north east.

“Patrick Harvie will push for the end of the oil and gas industry at the first chance he gets, abandoning the 100,000 jobs which depend on it,” Kerr said.

“They have no interest in energy transition. They want an unfair conclusion of our North Sea sector which is developing the very means to hit net zero.”

He added: “The SNP have lost the plot if they think it’s right that the Greens will have a seat at the government table while businesses, drivers, the oil and gas industry and normal hardworking people are shunted to the side.

“This deal is just another way for the SNP to push for another divisive referendum. The Scottish Conservatives will stand up for workers and families against this nationalist coalition of chaos.”

Labour leader Anas Sarwar has challenged the Greens to stand against further cuts to council budgets.

“The grim reality is that this coalition isn’t a surprise, it is just formalising what we’ve seen for years – Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP hammering our public services with cuts, and the Greens nodding along,” he said.

“From voting against pay rises for care workers, failing to reform the council tax, and tripling cuts to Scottish councils, this confirms the long-held suspicion that the Scottish Greens are just a branch office of the SNP.

“If the Greens are to be anything more than simply the SNP’s lackeys, they need to re-discover their principles and fight for a greener Scotland rather than roll over to the SNP every time the going gets tough.

“Scotland needs a real alternative that is standing up for our national recovery, the NHS and decent jobs – not the same old constitutional arguments.

“Scottish Labour are building that alternative, and I’d invite everyone in Scotland to join us on that journey”.

The email sent to Green members said the final agreement was being mulled by civil servants and lawyers because a “New Zealand-style” deal – which would see a Green MSP as a minister in government – has never been in place before in Scotland.

A spokesman for the First Minister said: “Following the SNP’s record landslide election win in May, the First Minister extended an open invitation to all parties to discuss areas where they thought they could work closely with the SNP in Government for the common good – in the face of the extraordinary challenges facing us such as the climate emergency and recovering from the pandemic.

“The fact that Labour and the Tories chose not to pursue that offer says far more about them than anyone else.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Greens said: “It’s no surprise that parties only interested in scoring political points would be alarmed about any suggestion of cooperation in the interests of people and planet.

“People vote Green to get results, and over the last five years the Scottish Greens have achieved more from our manifesto than Labour and the Tories combined. We will continue to do that, whatever happens.”

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