Patrick Harvie says Greens pact discussions with SNP 'positive'

Talks over the summer between the SNP Government and the Scottish Greens will focus on the climate and the constitution, it has been revealed.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the subjects identified as up for discussion as the two parties seek to hammer out a deal also include public services, infrastructure and “building a fairer, more equal Scotland”.

Mr Swinney revealed the topics at the heart of the talks in a written answer to Scottish Greens MSP Gillian Mackay, who had asked for an update on a potential co-operation agreement.

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The insight comes as the party has been written to by more than 150 members urging it not to deal with the SNP, which was labelled “transphobic" in the letter.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie.
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Green members urge party not to deal with 'transphobic' SNP

Despite the Scottish Government’s stance that it would not give a “running commentary” on the discussions, Mr Swinney said the two parties were “committed to exploring opportunities for co-operation and joint working for the common good and to change the dynamic of our politics for the better”.

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He said: “Since the First Minister’s announcement last month, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Greens have been engaging in positive discussions about a potential co-operation agreement, and have identified the subjects to be explored as part of this.

“Talks are covering the major challenges of this Parliament. This includes Scotland’s recovery from Covid, our response to the climate emergency, the constitution, public services, infrastructure, and building a fairer and more equal Scotland.

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“Talks will continue over the summer and a further report will be provided to Parliament after the recess.”

Responding to the written answer from Mr Swinney, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “Discussions have been positive and, as the Deputy First Minister has indicated, will cover the major challenges facing Scotland, including economic recovery from the pandemic, responding to the climate emergency, the constitution, public services, infrastructure and making Scotland more equal.

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“As talks continue over the summer, we look forward to discussing a wide range of issues with the government and reaching agreement on a programme which delivers a fairer, greener Scotland.”

Any pact will need to win the support of Green party members.

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