SNP and Greens close to agreeing Holyrood deal
The SNP and Scottish Greens are “95%” agreed on a Holyrood co-operation deal, according to sources.
The two parties have been in negotiations since May when the SNP fell one seat short of an overall majority.
According to the Daily Record, a source familiar with the negotiations said there had been “good progress” made.
An announcement, the source claimed, could come as early as the end of this week.
Labour dismissed the news, describing the Greens as a “branch office” of the SNP.
The agreement would formalise the pro-independence majority in Holyrood and allow the Scottish Government to brandish their pro-environmental credentials in time for the COP26 summit in November.
Speaking about the negotiations in May, Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs: “As we embark on this process, we are setting no limits on our ambition.
“So in that vein let me be clear that while this is not a guaranteed or pre-agreed outcome, it is not inconceivable that a cooperation agreement could lead in future to a Green minister or ministers being part of this Government.
“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.”
Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Greens co-leader, said the people of Scotland were looking for “grown up politics.”
He said: “Green parties across Europe and in countries like New Zealand have in recent years rolled up their sleeves and worked with other parties to deliver a better future.
“But they have also shown that there is more than one way for government and opposition parties to work together, without losing the ability to challenge one another.
“We believe the people of Scotland want to see grown-up politics like this, and will approach the forthcoming talks in this spirit.”
Responding to the reports, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “This coalition isn’t a surprise, it is just formalising a long-standing reality where Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP hammer our public services with cuts, and the Greens nod along.”
He added: “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.”
Scottish Conservative net zero, energy and transport spokesperson, Liam Kerr, added: “The prospect of an SNP-Green coalition of chaos is terrifying for the 100,000 workers and their families in our oil and gas industry.
“The SNP Government are working hand-in-hand with a party that’s happy to see thousands of hardworking families lose their jobs to suit their priorities.
“They care more about their separatist, ideological grievances than Scotland’s jobs and our wider economy and recovery.
“The UK Government have committed £16 billion to the North Sea to support the sector into transitioning towards using cleaner and greener technologies. That will help us progress towards achieving a net zero society and support our economic recovery.
“The Scottish Conservatives will continue to stand up for vital jobs and livelihoods while doing everything possible to prevent this destructive SNP-Green agenda."
ALBA MP Neale Hanvey said: “Scotland needs independence now as an urgent priority. If we hold off on pursuing the mandate for Scotland’s independence until the end of this Parliament then the Covid recovery powers we need will remain in Boris Johnson’s hands.
“Before the election, the Greens said they wanted a referendum by 2026 and the SNP have failed to pursue the mandate gained in the Scottish Parliament elections. We need action on independence now, not a coalition to kick independence into the long grass. “