Two Green MSPs will join the Scottish Government after the party’s members backed a deal with the SNP yesterday.
The agreement will see the Scottish Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater become government ministers – the first time any Green representative has held political office in a government in the UK’s four nations.
The deal was approved by Scottish Green Party members at yesterday’s extraordinary general meeting.
Shared policy platform
Negotiated over the summer after the SNP fell one seat short of an overall majority in May’s election, the agreement involves a shared policy platform for the Scottish Government.
This includes an agreement to pursue another vote on Scottish independence before the end of 2023, if the threat of coronavirus has subsided, as well as a raft of environmental policies and a commitment to implement rent controls.
The deal stipulates that public disagreement between the parties would only be allowed on a set of 10 agreed topics, such as aviation policy, green ports, direct financial support to businesses involved in the aerospace, defence and security sectors, field sports and the economic principles related to concepts of sustainable growth and inclusive growth.
However, speaking during the EGM, Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer insisted the list could change if further agreements or disagreements emerge.
Following the party’s approval of the deal, Slater said: “Scottish Green Party members are thoughtful and considerate, and I am pleased that having discussed and debated this agreement in great detail they have decided to take this historic step into government.
“The time has come for Scotland to step up efforts to decarbonise our economy and invest in a fairer, greener future.”
Harvie added: “I am delighted our party members have given their support to this historic cooperation agreement that will see Greens enter government for the first time in Scotland, or indeed anywhere in the UK. With Greens in government, we will be able to deliver positive change for the people of Scotland.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am delighted that members of both the Scottish Green Party and the SNP have agreed that we should work together in the Scottish Government to build a greener, fairer, independent Scotland.”
The Scottish Conservatives called the deal a “coalition of chaos” focused on independence, while Scottish Labour said it is a “disaster for Scotland”.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “This coalition of cuts is formalising a long-standing agreement where Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP hammer our public services and the Greens nod along. This deal is all about the parties’ constitutional obsession and nothing to do with the climate emergency we should be focused on.”
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