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Nicola Sturgeon urges party members to back SNP/Green deal in independence push

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Nicola Sturgeon (C) and Scottish Green Party co-leaders Patrick Harvie (L) and Lorna Slater (R) at Bute House, Edinburgh, Scotland (Photo by AP)

The leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon, has urged party members to back a deal with the Scottish Greens to “cement the pro-independence majority at Holyrood.”

In a video message sent to the Emails of the MSPs on Thursday, Sturgeon asserted, “I’m asking you to vote yes [over the proposed deal with the Scottish Greens],” in order “to build a greener, fairer independent Scotland.”

The SNP’s national executive committee has already rubber-stamped the deal, but party members are being given the opportunity to negotiate and vote on the matter via a consultative ballot.

Scottish Green members will also be asked to vote on the deal this weekend which is the final hurdle before the deal goes into effect.

Calling on the MSPs to back the party’s cooperation agreement, Sturgeon asserted that “with your support, the SNP and the Greens will work together to accelerate progress towards independence, address the climate emergency, tackle poverty and reform public services.”

The agreement creates a mutually agreed political platform to be pursued by the Scottish government, with independence listed as the first point in the 51-page document.

Under the joint agreement, which was published last week, two Scottish Green MSPs, co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, are expected to become ministers in the Scottish government.

The agreement formalizes the pro-independence majority in Holyrood, after the SNP fell just one seat short of an overall majority in May’s elections. The addition of seven Scottish Green seats will allow the Scottish government to comfortably pass legislation, including a new independence referendum bill, in the first half of the parliamentary term, which is before the end of 2023.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, attacked the deal on his Twitter, stating, “Confirmation, as if it was necessary, that this nationalist coalition is all about pushing to split up the country.”

The Labour Party, previously, had condemned the agreement as a “coalition of cuts,” claiming it “confirms the long-held suspicion that the Scottish Greens are just a branch office of the SNP.”

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