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by Louise Wilson
20 August 2021
SNP and Greens agree new power-sharing deal

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

SNP and Greens agree new power-sharing deal

The SNP and Scottish Greens are expected to agree on a new power-sharing deal at Holyrood later today.

The co-operation agreement between the two parties will see Greens in government for the first time in the UK.

But two of Scotland's opposition parties have warned the deal will put the country's recovery from the pandemic at risk.

The Scottish Conservatives said an economic bounce back would be threatened by the “anti-business, anti-jobs” Greens.

And Scottish Labour warned the country would be subject to a “coalition of cuts” if the two pro-independence parties work together.

Details of the cooperation agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens are set to emerge later, when Green members are furnished with details of the proposal.

The Greens’ constitution means any formal power-sharing agreement must be approved by both council and members before it is signed.

It is thought to have achieved the backing of the party’s council last weekend and will set to go to a members’ vote at an emergency general meeting on 28 August.

The Conservative shadow net zero secretary Liam Kerr said the Greens “don’t belong anywhere near government”, pointing to a series of manifesto commitments which he says would “start a war on working Scotland”.

In particular, his party is concerned about support for Scotland’s oil and gas sector potentially being removed.

Kerr said: “Scotland’s economic recovery from COVID will be under threat from the Greens’ anti-business, anti-jobs ideology.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Labour leader Anas Sarwar said the deal was simply formalising the arrangement between the two parties in recent years.

The Greens backed the minority Scottish Government’s budget in each year of the last session, in exchange for policy concessions.

Sarwar said these budgets equated to the SNP “hammering our public services with cuts, and the Greens nodding along.”

He added: “If the Greens are to be anything more than simply the SNP’s lackeys, they need to rediscover 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.”

The First Minister announced in May that her government was in formal talks with the Scottish Greens following her party failing to gain a majority after the elections.

Reports suggest the deal will be a “New Zealand-style” agreement, which could see at least one Green MSP become a junior minister.

The agreement is expected to cover climate change and the environment, but will also allow Green MSPs to dissent from government decisions in some areas.

Speaking to STV earlier this week, Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “We have a responsibility to… make an immediate impact for people in Scotland in issues like the climate emergency, transforming and decarbonising people’s heating, changing the way we move about and investing in jobs for the future.”

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