Nicola Sturgeon bolsters independence support – Is the SNP heading for Greens coalition?

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A co-operation deal between Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP and the Scottish Greens could come “very soon”, the co-leader of the Scottish Greens has indicated. Patrick Harvie said the two parties had been “trying to finish off those last bits of discussion” in an interview on the BBC’s The Sunday Show.

Asked about the potential deal, Mr Harvie refrained from the details but said a deal will be on the way sooner rather than later.

He: “Everybody is very keen to know the outcome, I don’t think you have very long to wait.

“If we do agree something with the SNP it won’t be put into practice until our party members have had a vote … we’re trying to finish off those last bits of discussion.

“I hope very soon we’ll be able to publish something.

“The last session of the Scottish Parliament showed the Greens making an impact as an opposition party, pushing the SNP out of their comfort zone.

“If we can do that in a more coherent way over the long term of this five-year parliament, we absolutely should be looking at how we can maximise that opportunity.”

The teaming up of the two parties would be the first time the SNP has officially worked with another party in Government after 14 years in power.

Are the SNP and Greens going into coalition?

Not quite. The agreement will not be a formal coalition like the one between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in 2021, nor will it be a confidence and supply deal, like the one between the Conservatives and DUP in 2017.

If finalised, the deal will be closer to a ‘co-operation agreement’, similar to the one struck between New Zealand’s Labour Party and the Green Party, as detailed in an email sent to Scottish Greens on Friday.

The New Zealand model, which has seen Green Party MPs in New Zealand take on ministerial positions while not being in an official coalition, is being considered by civil servants and Government lawyers, the email said.

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Negotiations are well advanced but remain ongoing between officials and representatives from the Scottish Government and their prospective partners.

The message also announces the postponement of a vote on the final deal until August 28 and pledges to provide the wording of an agreement to members by next week, August 20.

Therefore, it appears to confirm one of the group’s eight MSPs will take on ministerial office in the Scottish Government.

Ms Sturgeon announced talks had been launched on the creation of a co-operation agreement between the two parties after May’s Holyrood election, in which the SNP fell just one seat short of an overall majority.

What does this mean for Scottish independence?

The idea, according to the First Minister and the Greens, would see co-operation over specific issues, without a formal coalition deal.

Areas of co-operation are likely to include Scottish independence, which the Green Party are firmly behind.

However, high up on the agenda for the Greens will be climate change policy, particularly ahead of the COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November.

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