Sturgeon confirms talks with Greens over formal agreement

At the Holyrood election earlier this month, the SNP won a total of 64 seats, while the Greens had seven MSPs elected.

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed the Scottish Government will seek a formal co-operation agreement with the Scottish Greens.

Speaking at the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister told MSPs that following a meeting at Bute House on Tuesday evening, informal discussions between her government and the Greens would be moved to the next stage.

At the Holyrood election earlier this month, the SNP won a total of 64 seats, while the Greens had seven MSPs elected.

“In Scotland and across the world we have massive challenges to confront and overcome – a global pandemic, the climate emergency, and the need to build an economic recovery that is strong, sustainable and fair,” Sturgeon said.

“In the face of all of that, people across Scotland expect, indeed, demand, a grown-up and co-operative approach to politics that puts the interests of the country first.

“We want to reach out and find the best solutions to the toughest of problems. Our duty is to co-operate and not to find the lowest common denominator, but as a way of raising the bar higher.

“I can confirm that the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party will enter structured talks, supported by the civil service, with a view to reaching, if we can, a formal co-operation agreement.

“Exactly what the content, extent and scope of any agreement will be is what the talks will focus on but what we hope to achieve is potentially ground-breaking.”

Sturgeon said that compromise would be needed on both sides and require the parties to “be bold”.

She added: “The key point for today is that we are both agreeing to come out of our comfort zones to find new ways of working for the common good to change the dynamic of our politics for the better, and give meaning to the founding principles of our Parliament.

“What we are embarking on will require compromise on both sides but it will also require us to be bold and given the challenges we face, that is a good thing, in fact it is the whole point. By working together we can help build a better future for Scotland.”

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said her party hopes that real change can be delivered through the talks.

She said: “Scotland desperately needs a green recovery from the pandemic that leaves no-one behind, while time is running out for meaningful action on the climate emergency.

“The Scottish Greens have always worked constructively with other parties, delivering meaningful change like free bus travel for young people, and earlier this month the public returned the largest ever Green group to parliament to take that work further and faster.

“We hope that through these talks we can deliver real change.”

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