SNP and Greens agree new power-sharing dealon August 20, 2021 at 6:30 am

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The agreement will see Greens enter national government for the first time anywhere in the UK.

Patrick Harvie & Nicola Sturgeon

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The SNP and the Scottish Greens have agreed a new power-sharing partnership at Holyrood, the BBC has learned.

The deal would take the Greens into government for the first time anywhere in the UK.

It would also give the Scottish government a majority to pass legislation including a new independence referendum bill.

The Scottish cabinet is meeting virtually this morning at 09:30 to approve the proposal.

The co-operation agreement between the two parties stops short of a full coalition.

While the Greens are prepared to sign up to the bulk of the government’s programme they have negotiated opt outs in policy areas where they disagree.

This is a new form of government at Holyrood and a first in the UK.

It’s based on the arrangements the New Zealand Greens have with Jacinda Ardern’s government in Wellington.

Jacinda Ardern

image sourceGetty Images

The deal has been struck with less than three months to go to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

Greens have been pressing the Scottish government to go further in tackling global warming in exchange for their support.

The Scottish Conservatives have described a tie up between the two parties as a “coalition of chaos” that will threaten jobs in North Sea oil and gas.

Some businesses including fish farming have warned that Green policies could damaging the economy.

The details of what’s been agreed will be confirmed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the co-leaders of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater later on Friday.

Their deal follows two months of negotiations led by the Deputy First Minister John Swinney for the government and MSPs Ross Greer and Maggie Chapman for the Greens.

It’s not clear which Greens will join the government. A couple of junior ministers are expected to be named next week.

The deal requires the approval of the decision-making bodies of both parties before it can take effect.

The SNP’s national executive committee is due to meet on Saturday and the Greens have scheduled a meeting of their membership for Saturday 28 August.

Both sides want the deal to take effect before Holyrood returns with a statement on the programme for government on Tuesday 31 August.

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