Nicola Sturgeon ‘delighted’ as first hurdle to Greens-SNP powershare cleared

The SNP’s national executive committee (NEC) has voted unanimously to back the co-operation deal with the Scottish Greens, clearing the first hurdle to powersharing.

Nicola Sturgeon said she was “delighted” the agreement had been given the go-ahead from the NEC.
Nicola Sturgeon said she was “delighted” the agreement had been given the go-ahead from the NEC.

On Saturday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “delighted” the agreement had been given the go-ahead from the NEC, meaning only Green members stand in the way of it being put into force.

The much-anticipated deal was published on Friday after months of negotiation and promised to put two Green MSPs into ministerial office.

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While opposition parties slated the deal as a “coalition of chaos”, Ms Sturgeon heralded it as a sea change in Scottish politics, describing it as “groundbreaking” from the podium at her official residence in Bute House.

The First Minister said on Twitter: “Delighted that the draft @scotgov/@scottishgreens co-operation agreement has been unanimously endorsed by @theSNP national executive committee, following a (very) upbeat meeting.”

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Further measures were also introduced by the committee, including a consultative vote to take place this week, although this would not be able to reverse course after the NEC decision.

Scottish Greens members are expected to meet in an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) next Saturday, where they will vote on the terms of the deal and give it a final stamp of approval before it can take force.

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Along with agreeing to the ministerial positions, the two parties have also produced a shared policy platform.

The 51-page document pledges another vote on Scottish independence by the end of 2023, a £500 million just transition fund to move away from oil and gas, a Bill to be introduced on the reform of the controversial gender recognition act (GRA) within a year and a national rent control system which will be implemented by 2025.

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The deal covers the vast majority of domestic policy, with 10 areas carved out where the sides could not reach an agreement.

The role of gross domestic product (GDP) in measuring economic growth, public funding for defence companies, membership of Nato in an independent Scotland and the regulation of selling sex are among areas outside the scope of the agreement.

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The parties have also agreed to disagree on the matter of fee-paying schools and field sports such as hunting and shooting – a long-running bone of contention between the two sides.

The two Green MSPs appointed as ministers will not be bound by collective responsibility – meaning they will not be held accountable – in these areas.

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