Members of the Scottish Green Party and members of the SNP have voted their approval of a deal which will lead to Scottish Green MSPs becoming Ministers in The Scottish Government.
Co-leaders of The Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, will become the first UK Green ministers in an agreement, not a full coalition of the two parties when deciding matters at Holyrood.
The draft agreement can be read in full here.
Mr Harvie said earlier in the week that the agreement will transform Scotland’s transport network with the budget for walking and cycling trebled to over £300 million, £5 billion for maintaining, improving and decarbonising the railways, ensuring that public transport is an affordable choice for all.
While the A9 dualling project will be completed, and safety improvement to the A96 Inverness to Aberdeen road will proceed, there will be a review of the possibility of dualling the A96 and the environmental impact that might have.
Patrick Harvie MSP said: “I am delighted that our party members have given their support to this historic cooperation agreement that will see Greens enter government for the first time in Scotland, or indeed anywhere in the UK. With Greens in government we will be able to deliver positive change for the people of Scotland.”
Lorna Slater MSP said: “Scottish Green Party members are thoughtful and considerate, and I am pleased that having discussed and debated this agreement in great detail they have decided to take this historic step into government. The time has come for Scotland to step up efforts to decarbonise our economy and invest in a fairer, greener future. There’s no time to waste and I’m looking forward to start work on our transformative agenda in the coming days.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am delighted that members of both the Scottish Green Party and the SNP have agreed that we should work together in the Scottish Government to build a greener, fairer, independent Scotland.
“This historic agreement will provide a strong platform for the transformative programme we want to deliver. We will work collaboratively to support a fair recovery from Covid, address with urgency the impacts of the climate emergency, and give the people of Scotland a vote on independence.
“The agreement recognises that co-operation and consensus are essential to finding the practical solutions to the big challenges we face, and it echoes the founding principles of our Parliament.
“While our parties do not agree on everything, we have much common ground. We also have a determination – and indeed a responsibility – to look beyond our differences to build a better country.
“I look forward to working collaboratively with the Scottish Greens in government, and with all parties in parliament, to achieve this.”
Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar said:”This coalition of cuts is formalising a long-standing agreement where Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP hammer our public services and the Greens nod along.“This deal is all about the parties’ constitutional obsession and nothing to do with the climate emergency we should be focused on.“The SNP is desperate to avoid scrutiny and this coalition with their Green branch office is simply designed to make it harder for parliament to hold the First Minister to account.“Scottish Labour will focus on providing a real alternative that addresses our national recovery, protects the NHS and tackles the climate crisis.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The Greens have gone into government in exchange for thin gruel. The SNP have hardly budged.
“Our planet is on the brink of being irreparably damaged. This is no moment for distraction. People will be scratching their heads about why they want to completely consume the precious little time left by returning to the divisive constitutional arguments of the past.
“If you want a party that will fight the climate emergency with ferocity but without the baggage of nationalism, come with the Scottish Liberal Democrats.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “This coalition is all about prioritising division over what really matters to people – Covid recovery and climate recovery.
“It would be grossly irresponsible if the two parties seek to hold another divisive referendum against the wishes of the majority of people in Scotland and at a time when the focus should be on recovery.
“As part of the UK we can bring communities together and pool and share resources to build a successful recovery with nobody left behind.”