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SNP-Green deal ‘looks like student politics’, Alex Salmond claims

·2-min read
Alex Salmond now leads the Alba party (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
Alex Salmond now leads the Alba party (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Abandoning the North Sea industry would be a “betrayal” of those who work there, Alex Salmond has said, as he attacked the proposed co-operation agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens.

The former first minister, who now leads the rival pro-independence Alba party, said the deal looked like “student politics masquerading as coalition building”.

Alba failed to win any seats at the Holyrood election but it has two MPs who defected from the SNP and a number of councillors around Scotland.

The Scottish Greens are opposed to new oil and gas exploration and road building which adds capacity to the network.

Details of an SNP-Green co-operation agreement were published last week (Jeff J Mitchell/PA) (PA Wire)
Details of an SNP-Green co-operation agreement were published last week (Jeff J Mitchell/PA) (PA Wire)

In a statement released on Wednesday, Mr Salmond said: “The future of the North Sea, the communities it benefits, the jobs it supports, and the economic advantage to Scotland merits much more serious consideration than what currently looks like student politics masquerading as coalition building.

“It is perfectly possible to reconcile hydrocarbon development with a zero carbon future, just as it’s possible to decarbonise transport without stopping essential road building.

“If I had placed government in the hands of the Green Party, there would currently be no Forth Crossing and no Aberdeen Western Peripheral Road.”

He continued: “Abandoning the North Sea would be a betrayal of the workforce and used by opponents to damage the independence case which for many decades has focused on developing our country’s huge natural resources.

“Dodging the debate by leaving it to Westminster is even worse, sending out the debilitating message that Scotland is not capable of taking the big decisions for ourselves.

“Securing a just transition requires a lot more than soundbites, but rather a thought-out plan on how to protect the jobs we have, build on the economic benefits we have gained and use the unrivalled expertise of a world energy capital to lead in offshore renewables”.

Last week, the Scottish Government published details of a draft co-operation agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens.

The deal must be formally approved by Green members before the smaller party can enter government, with two ministerial positions promised to them.

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