Scotland: SNP and Greens 'set for independence majority' says host
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The SNP has taken a huge step towards a second independence referendum after striking a power-sharing agreement with the Scottish Greens. Glenn Campbell, BBC’s Scotland’s political editor, told the BBC’s Today programme that the agreement “guarantees” a showdown between Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson in the courts. He said there is now a “clear majority” for the new bill on a further independence vote “that will, of course, cause a considerable dispute with the UK Government”.
The deal with the SNP will take the Greens into government for the first time anywhere in the UK.
The BBC Scotland’s political editor said the agreement would “look like a coalition but fall short of a full coalition”.
Mr Campbell said that the agreement would likely see the renewed push for independence move towards a crunch battle in the courts.
He explained: “For the SNP, it is about gaining those extra votes that will give them a guaranteed majority to pass budgets and laws, including a new bill on a further independence referendum that will, of course, cause a considerable dispute with the UK government.”
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The BBC correspondent continued: “It is about having more stability over the next five years and protecting themselves from the ambush they experienced towards the end of the last parliament.
“It clarifies the majority that exists in the Scottish parliament for another independence referendum.
“However that referendum also requires agreement from the UK government as well, that is the preferred route towards a referendum for the SNP.
“But that consent is not likely to be forthcoming from Boris Johnson so if the Scottish parliament legislate anyway on this bill, this could end up as a battle in the courts.”
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The Scottish Conservatives have described the pact between the two parties as a “coalition of chaos” that will threaten jobs in the North Sea oil and gas.
The Greens are the fourth largest party in the Scottish Parliament after winning eight seats in the election in May.
The SNP won 64 seats – leaving them one short of an overall majority.
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Mr Campbell later added: “For the Greens, it is about gaining a share of power for the first time.
“It is about gaining policy influence particularly in tackling climate changes ahead of the COP26 climate summit.”
Earlier this week it was revealed that Scotland’s budget deficit ballooned to 22 percent of its economic output in the past year.
Kate Forbes, Scotland’s finance secretary, insisted the latest data on the deficit would not stop the SNP from turning its focus back to independence after the coronavirus crisis.
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