Scottish Ministers have confirmed that they will enter structured talks with the Scottish Green Party, supported by the civil service, with a view to reaching a formal Co-operation Agreement.
The initiative is part of a refreshed pledge to change politics in Scotland for the better by working with opposition parties to find the best solutions to the toughest of problems, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
In the weeks leading up to the next Parliamentary Recess talks will be ongoing and focus on agreeing policy areas where the government and the Scottish Green Party can and will cooperate.
During a statement to Parliament the First Minister told the Chamber that she is committed to compromise and constructive conversations as she extended an open offer to collaborate with all of the elected parties.
A cross-party steering group on Covid Recovery has already been established by the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery to welcome all contributions to secure a strong recovery from the pandemic.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:“In Scotland and across the world we have massive challenges to confront and overcome: a global pandemic, the climate emergency, and the need to build an economic recovery that is strong, sustainable and fair.
“In the face of all of that, people across Scotland expect – indeed, demand – a grown-up and co-operative approach to politics that puts the interests of the country first.
“We want to reach out and find the best solutions to the toughest of problems. Our duty is to co-operate and not to find the lowest common denominator, but as a way of raising the bar higher.
“I can confirm that the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party will enter structured talks, supported by the civil service, with a view to reaching, if we can, a formal Co-operation Agreement.
“Exactly what the content, extent and scope of any Agreement will be is what the talks will focus on but what we hope to achieve is potentially groundbreaking.
“The key point for today is that we are both agreeing to come out of our comfort zones to find new ways of working for the common good to change the dynamic of our politics for the better, and give meaning to the founding principles of our Parliament.
“What we are embarking on will require compromise on both sides but it will also require us to be bold and given the challenges we face, that is a good thing, in fact it is the whole point. By working together we can help build a better future for Scotland.”