Scottish Greens to Hold Extraordinary Meeting on Power-Sharing Deal with SNP

The Scottish Greens may withdraw from their power-sharing deal with the SNP after the government abandoned climate targets, sparking an internal debate on the future of the agreement.

Waqas Arain
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Scottish Greens to Hold Extraordinary Meeting  on Power-Sharing Deal with SNP

Scottish Greens to Hold Extraordinary Meeting on Power-Sharing Deal with SNP

The Scottish Green Party has announced it will hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to decide the future of its power-sharing Bute House Agreement with the Scottish National Party (SNP). The decision comes after the Scottish government scrapped key 2030 climate change targets, angering many Green party members.

Under the Bute House Agreement, signed in 2021, the Greens entered government for the first time in the UK, giving the SNP a majority in the Scottish Parliament. However, the Scottish government's recent move to abandon its commitment to cut carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 has put the agreement under strain.

Green co-leader Patrick Harvie said he will urge members to vote in favor of continuing the deal at the EGM, arguing that it allows the party to put its values into practice in government. "Green policies have led to improvements in public transport, clean heating, nature restoration, long-term rent controls, and a ban on conversion practices," Harvie noted.

However, some Green members, including the party's LGBT wing, the Rainbow Greens, have been critical of the agreement, especially after the government's decision to pause the prescription of puberty blockers for new patients under 18 at a gender identity service in Glasgow.

Councillor Chas Booth, a prominent Green member, has written to the party's executive demanding an EGM to consider withdrawing from the Bute House Agreement. "Our party is being used as a smokescreen for the SNP's deplorable and unjustifiable climate inaction," Booth argued.

The Scottish Greens said the EGM will give members the opportunity to debate and decide how the party should move forward. Co-leader Lorna Slater stated that the party has "achieved more for people and the planet in the past 32 months than other parties have in decades" and wants to hear from members on how to continue this progress.

Why this matters: The potential unraveling of the Scottish Greens' power-sharing deal with the SNP could have significant implications for the balance of power in the Scottish Parliament and the future of Scotland's climate change policies. The outcome of the EGM will be closely watched by political observers across the UK.

The date and time of the EGM will be confirmed in due course, with the Greens emphasizing that the result of the vote will be binding on the party. SNP leader Humza Yousaf has indicated his continuing support for the Bute House Agreement, but there is pressure from within his own party to end the partnership. As one Rainbow Greens member put it, "The EGM is a response to overwhelming pressure from Scottish Green members. It's time for us to decide if this deal is still serving our party and our planet."

Key Takeaways

  • Scottish Greens to hold EGM on power-sharing deal with SNP after climate targets scrapped
  • Green co-leader Harvie urges members to vote to continue deal, citing policy achievements
  • Some Greens, including LGBT wing, critical of deal after gov't paused puberty blockers
  • Outcome of EGM vote will be binding, could impact balance of power in Scottish Parliament
  • SNP leader Yousaf supports deal, but pressure from within party to end partnership