Nicola Sturgeon says there’s a ‘choice between two futures’
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The two parties have been locked in negotiations since May after the SNP fell just one seat short of an overall majority at the Holyrood elections. While both parties said there would not be a formal coalition between the two, an agreement is set to be announced today which would see them work together on key issues, and Green MSPs appointed as ministers in Nicola Sturgeon’s government.
Express.co.uk understands co-leaders of the party, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, are the favourites of the eight Green MSPs to be appointed ministers.
But Liam Kerr MSP, Scottish Conservative Net Zero, Energy and Transport spokesperson claimed the Scottish Greens manifesto is a “doctrine to start a war on working Scotland.”
In a scathing warning, the MSP added: “The Green extremists don’t belong anywhere near the government.
“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.”
Green co-leader Patrick Harvie said earlier this week the parties were “trying to finish off those last bits of discussion” but warned Ms Sturgeon must “go further” on climate change.
The party has put pressure to publicly oppose the Cambo oil field despite the plans being in the hands of Boris Johnson.
Up to 132 million tonnes of carbon could be released if the field, off the coast of Shetland, is given the green light, climate activists fear.
Ms Sturgeon said the Cambo proposal and other North Sea projects where drilling had not yet begun should be subjected to a much tougher appraisal given the severity of the climate emergency but stopped short of saying new projects should be blocked.
Mr Kerr continued: “Patrick Harvie will push for the end of the oil and gas industry at the first chance he gets, abandoning the 100,000 jobs which depend on it. They have no interest in energy transition.
“They want an unfair conclusion of our North Sea sector which is developing the very means to hit net zero.”
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, added: “We’re set to be subjected to the spectacle of a coalition of cuts that no one voted for being rubber-stamped by a tiny minority of political obsessives.
“This isn’t how Scotland should be governed.
“The grim reality is that this coalition isn’t a surprise, it is just formalising what we’ve seen for years – Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP hammering our public services with cuts, and the Greens nodding along.
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“If the Greens are to be anything more than simply the SNP’s lackeys, they need to re-discover their principles and fight for a greener Scotland rather than roll over to the SNP every time the going gets tough.”
Another key area of agreement between the two sides before the negotiations was the constitution with both the Greens and the SNP in favour of Scottish independence.
An agreement would also help towards formalising the 72 pre-separation MSPs in Holyrood, seven more than the 65 needed for a majority.
But Ms Sturgeon’s official spokesperson last night defended the deal and added: “Following the SNP’s record landslide election win in May, the First Minister extended an open invitation to all parties to discuss areas where they thought they could work closely with the SNP in Government for the common good – in the face of the extraordinary challenges facing us such as the climate emergency and recovering from the pandemic.
“The fact that Labour and the Tories chose not to pursue that offer says far more about them than anyone else.”
A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said: “It’s no surprise that parties only interested in scoring political points would be alarmed about any suggestion of cooperation in the interests of people and planet.
“People vote Green to get results, and over the last five years, the Scottish Greens have achieved more from our manifesto than Labour and the Tories combined. We will continue to do that, whatever happens.”
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