Deal on power-sharing between SNP and Scottish Greens fails after a Dispute Over Climate targets

After a sour argument over the Scottish Greens’ retreat on climate targets, the SNP ended its power-sharing agreement.

It follows rumours regarding the fate of the Holyrood agreement, which was first negotiated by his predecessor Nicola Sturgeon, prompting First Minister Humza Yousaf to call an emergency meeting of his Cabinet this morning. Cabinet meetings are typically conducted on Tuesdays.

During a Thursday press conference, Mr. Yousaf stated that although the benefits of his party’s agreement with the Greens had previously “outweighed the compromises” and produced a “number of successes,” the balance had now “shifted.”

“The agreement was intended to provide stability to Scottish government, and it has made possible a number of achievements, but it has served its purpose,” he stated.

Announcing his intention to seek a “less formal” deal with his former allies, the first minister declared that his choice demonstrated “leadership” and ushered in a “new beginning” for the SNP.

Regarding the Bute House accord, which he had earlier called “worth its weight in gold,” he spoke in a more positive light than Green co-leader Lorna Slater, who charged the SNP with “political cowardice.”

“This is an act of political cowardice by the SNP, who are selling out future generations to appease the most reactionary forces in the country,” she stated.

“They have severed their trust relationships with members of both parties who have twice opted for climate action and the cooperation agreement over chaos, culture conflicts, and division. The electorate has been deceived by them.”

She continued, “And by ending the agreement in such a weak and thoroughly hopeless way, Humza Yousaf has signalled that when it comes to political cooperation, he can no longer be trusted.”

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A power-sharing agreement was negotiated in 2021, bringing the Greens into government for the first time in UK history and facilitating governance between the two pro-independence parties in Holyrood.

Named after the first minister’s official house in Edinburgh, it created cabinet posts for Ms Slater and her co-leader, Patrick Harvie, and gave the SNP a majority in the Scottish parliament when its votes were added to those of the seven Green MSPs.

However, indications that the accord was facing challenges surfaced when the Scottish government abandoned its pledge to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030.

The statement about the climate also coincided with a halt on the prescription of puberty blockers for new patients under the age of eighteen at a gender identification service in Glasgow.

Mr. Yousaf stated that it will be “hard, it will be tough, there’s no doubt about that” now that his administration is leading a minority government in Holyrood.

The Greens were horrified not only by the softening of climate targets but also by the suspension of puberty blockers following the historic Cass review of gender services for under-18s in England and Wales.

In order for the Greens to “put Green values into practice” in government, Mr Harvie asked members to support the Bute House accord when the party announced last week that it would put it to a vote among its members.

However, Ms. Slater said in the statement that was made public today that Green Party members would no longer have a “democratic say,” adding, “How can anyone expect them to stand up to the UK government at Westminster and defend the interests of Scotland if they can’t even stand up to members of their own party?”

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“Absolute humiliation”

The fall of this “toxic coalition is an utter humiliation for Humza Yousaf” and “highlights once again how inept and out of his depth he is,” according to Scottish Conservatives chairman Craig Hoy.

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