Nicola Sturgeon and Green party leaders have agreed a deal to work together in the Scottish Government.
Details were being finalised on Friday morning with both groups signaling a deal is done and ready to go to their wider membership.
Party insiders stressed the vast majority of issues had been concluded before a government cabinet meeting was arranged to rubber stamp the terms.
Opposition MSPs immediately slammed the potential new “coalition”, which will give Greens a place in government for the first time in the UK.
Green party members already set a date to discuss the outcome of any deal at a meeting on August 28. The SNP’s national executive committee is expected to meet this weekend, putting more pressure on the government to set out the details quickly.
The SNP’s national executive committee is expected to meet this weekend, putting more pressure on the government to set out the details.
Ms Sturgeon, the SNP leader, previously suggested talks could lead to a Green MSP in government.
“The key point is that we are both agreeing to come out of our comfort zones to find new ways of working for the common good,” she said before talks began.
We revealed last week how SNP MSPs had an emergency meeting with Ms Sturgeon amid concerns about what the outcome would look like.
“The Green extremists don’t belong anywhere near government.”
– Tory MSP Liam Kerr
Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie hinted the parties were close just days ago.
“The last session of the Scottish parliament showed the Greens making an impact as an opposition party, pushing the SNP out of their comfort zone,” he said.
“If we can do that in a more coherent way over the long term of this five year parliament we absolutely should be looking at how we can maximise that opportunity.”
As the two sides worked on final details, their opponents sounded the alarm – in stark terms.
North East Tory MSP Liam Kerr said: “The Green extremists don’t belong anywhere near government. Their manifesto is a doctrine to start a war on working Scotland.”
Mr Kerr claimed it would bring an end to road projects and a push to finish off oil and gas production.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said the government should focus on recovery from the Covid pandemic.
“Instead, we’re set to be subjected to the spectacle of a coalition of cuts that no one voted for being rubber-stamped by a tiny minority of political obsessives,” he claimed.
“This isn’t how Scotland should be governed.”
The First Minister announced talks would begin on May 26.
In a speech in the Scottish Parliament, she revealed: “The key point is that we are both agreeing to come out of our comfort zones to find new ways of working for the common good.”
Informal talks were held after the election on May 6 but neither party had committed to anything more formal in the run up to the vote.
Both sides played down the shared ambition for independence, highlighting climate change and domestic policy.
The SNP and Greens together have a pro-independence majority at Holyrood, which could put more pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to address calls for a second Scottish referendum.