Sturgeon urges SNP members to back Green deal in independence push

Nicola Sturgeon has urged SNP members to back a deal with the Scottish Greens to “cement the pro-independence majority at Holyrood”.

The agreement, which was published last week, will see co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater likely become ministers in the Scottish Government, taking on two wide-ranging portfolios.

The SNP’s national executive committee has already rubber stamped the deal, but members are being given the chance for a consultative vote on the matter.

In a video to members launching the survey, the First Minister put the push for another independence referendum front and centre.

She said: “I’m asking you to vote yes (on the deal with the Greens).

“By doing so, you will help me cement the pro-independence majority at Holyrood.

“With your support, the SNP and the Greens will work together to accelerate progress towards independence, address the climate emergency, tackle poverty and reform public services.

“This is about doing politics better – working together to build a greener, fairer independent Scotland, so let’s get on with that job.

“As always, I am asking you to vote yes.”

The co-operation agreement created a shared policy platform agreed by both sides that would be pursued by the Scottish Government with independence listed as the first point in the 51-page document.

The two parties agreed to pursue another vote on independence in the first half of the parliamentary term, meaning before the end of 2023, if the threat of coronavirus had subsided.

Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Donald Cameron said the video is evidence that the agreement was negotiated “solely for the purpose of pursuing a divisive indyref2”.

He added: “After failing to win a majority, she has had to turn to the extremist Greens to try and drag Scotland through another bitter referendum at a time of an economic crisis.

“That is completely reckless when we should be 100% focused on protecting jobs, rebuilding our communities and fully remobilising our NHS.

“Independence will always trump everything else for Nicola Sturgeon and her Green allies, even as we only just begin to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.

“The Scottish Conservatives will continue to stand firmly against the SNP-Greens push for indyref2 and show that we are Scotland’s real alternative to this damaging nationalist alliance.”