The new SNP-Green Government is a “nationalist coalition of chaos focused on splitting up the country and dividing Scotland with another bitter referendum”, the Scottish Conservatives have said.
Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross rubbished claims that the deal was not a coalition and criticised Nicola Sturgeon for turning to the extremist Greens after she failed to win a majority in the Scottish Parliament election.
He added that the “anti-jobs, anti-business” coalition would punish hardworking families, motorists, and the oil and gas industry.
The deal was published just hours after the Scottish Conservatives gained a North East council seat from the SNP.
The party won the Mid-Formartine by-election with 45.7 per cent of the vote. It is the Scottish Conservatives’ third by-election win recently.
Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “If it looks like a coalition and acts like a coalition, it’s a coalition. No amount of spin from Nicola Sturgeon and the Greens can change that.
“They will work and vote together as one nationalist government on all but a handful of issues.
“The 50-odd pages of their policy programme could be boiled down to one word above everything else – separation. This is a nationalist coalition of chaos focused on splitting up the country and dividing Scotland with another bitter referendum.
“Nicola Sturgeon failed to win a majority so she’s had to turn to the extremist Greens to help her push for indyref2 during an economic crisis.
“It shows just how weak the SNP feel their case is that they’ve had to break bread with a party that is even more anti-jobs, anti-business and ideologically extreme than they are. This SNP-Green deal will punish hardworking families across Scotland, especially anyone who relies on their cars.
“There are now opponents of the oil and gas industry at the very heart of the SNP-Green Government. They will undoubtedly be using their new influence to push for an end to the North Sea sector as soon as possible, risking the 100,000 Scottish jobs it supports.
“The backlash to news of the SNP-Green coalition is already apparent. The Scottish Conservatives have gained a seat from the SNP, winning a North East by-election, thanks to our new Councillor Sheila Powell and a fantastic local campaign.
“All over the country, we are demonstrating with action that we are Scotland’s real alternative to the SNP, standing up for working people against this nationalist government.”
By-election performance since the 2021 election:
The Scottish Conservatives have won three council by-elections since the Holyrood election. The Scottish Conservatives were victorious at Stage 4 of the East Garioch by-election, Stage 1 of the Dalry and West Kilbride by-election and were today victorious in the Mid-Formartine by-election. (Aberdeenshire Council, East Garioch By-Election Transfer Report, 18 June 2021, link; North Ayrshire Council, Dalry and West Kilbride First Preference Report, 13 August 2021, link; Aberdeenshire Council Twitter, Mid-Formartine by-election results, 20 August 2021, link).
The SNP have only won one council by-election since the election. The SNP’s only by-election victory since the Holyrood elections came in East Livingston and East Calder. The Scottish Conservatives came in second place in this by-election. (West Lothian Council, East Livingston and East Calder Transfer Report, 6 August 2021, link).
Labour failed to stand in three by-elections since the election. Labour did not stand in the Inverness West by-election, Wick and East Caithness by-election and today’s Mid-Formartine by-election. (Highland Council, Inverness West & Wick and East Caithness First Preference Report, 13 August 2021, link; Aberdeenshire Council Twitter, Mid-Formartine by-election results, 20 August 2021, link).
The SNP-Green deal includes the following agreements:
The nationalist coalition wants to hold another independence referendum by 2023. “secure a referendum on Scottish independence after the Covid crisis. This would be within the current parliamentary session on a specific date to be determined by the Scottish Parliament. If the Covid crisis has passed, our intention is for the referendum to be within the first half of the five-year parliamentary session.” P6]
The nationalist coalition plans to reduce speed limits to 20mph in villages, towns and cities “all appropriate roads in built up areas will have a safer speed limit of 20 mph by 2025”. p10
The nationalist coalition plans to stop all road building for the purpose of reducing congestion. “during this parliamentary session, new roads projects will normally only be taken forward where they reduce the maintenance backlog; address road safety concerns or adapt the network to deal with the impacts of climate change or benefit communities such as bypassing settlements…. we will not build road infrastructure to cater for forecast unconstrained increases in traffic volumes” p10
The nationalist coalition wants to undertake a critical exercise of the oil and gas industry. “We will also undertake a programme of work and analysis to better understand our energy requirements as we transition to net zero and how this aligns with our climate change targets and the goal of the Paris agreement to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. This work will supplement a wide range of evidence that will be considered to take an informed policy decision on the contribution of North Sea production to the global climate emergency and to Scotland’s economy, security and wellbeing. This will report by the end of 2022.” P13