THE SNP and Greens are set to work together on a joint prospectus for Scottish independence ahead of a 2023 vote, it has been revealed.

Speaking to The Herald, Green co-leader and Government minister Lorna Slater said that the two parties would be drawing up an agreed prospectus, while also putting together separate documents.

The two parties currently operate in government under a co-operation agreement deal, which was signed off last summer. As part of that, it was agreed that legislation for a second referendum would be drawn up. Both parties’ manifestoes included a pledge to indyref2 being held in this parliament.

Speaking this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged to do “everything in her power” to give Scots the chance to vote on the country’s future in 2023.

The National:

She said the date legislation would be introduced to enable Scotland to hold the independence referendum would be announced “when we’ve taken the detailed decisions”.

She told STV’s Scotland Tonight: “What I think is much more exciting as we come out, I hope, of the pandemic, and certainly the acute phase of the pandemic, are the opportunities that come with Scotland being independent.”

In The Herald interview, marking the six-month anniversary of the Bute House agreement between the SNP and Greens, Slater explained: "There will be more than one prospectus for independence. The Scottish Greens will develop a prospectus for independence but as part of the Scottish Government we will also contribute to the Scottish Government's prospectus.

"It's clear from the Bute House agreement and from our manifestos that there are many places where the Scottish Greens and the SNP agree, but many places where we disagree and that's why the Bute House agreement includes the excluded items.

The National:

"I would expect to help shape that government manifesto. It wouldn't fully encapsulate a Green vision for Scotland, so the Scottish Greens will produce our own Green vision for Scotland."

Pressed on the 2023 timetable for indyref2, Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, said: "That is certainly the plan, that's the vision for it, that's what we are committed to. The Greens said this term of parliament. We're saying next year is a good year.

"It's an exciting time. I am really looking forward to having that conversation about what kind of Scotland we want to be and to setting out that vision."

However, Scottish Tory constitution spokesperson Donald Cameron expressed his anger over the plans and accused the Greens of being “extremist”.

“The Greens have already shown their influence on SNP ministers by getting them to harden their stance on oil and gas and ramping up their war on motorists,” he said.

“The last thing our recovery needs is the anti-jobs, anti-business Greens being heavily involved in attempts to break up the Union.”

And his Scottish Labour counterpart Sarah Boyack also attacked the parties. “We came together to beat Covid and now they want us to take us back to fighting with each other,” she claimed.

“This is a total dereliction of duty in the middle of a growing cost of living crisis.”

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It comes after Labour’s shadow Scotland secretary wrote to the UK Government demanding they stop Holyrood civil servants from working on independence.

As a freedom of information request revealed there are 11 civil servants working on the Government’s independence prospectus, Ian Murray claimed this was a “wasteful use of taxpayers’ money” and told Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to reverse the plans.

“The Scottish National Party is of course perfectly entitled to set out its plans for separation, but Scottish taxpayers should not be expected to foot the bill for a prospectus which the majority have already rejected in a national referendum,” he wrote in the letter.

But the Scottish Government defended itself against his intervention, commenting: “It is the role of the civil service to support the elected government of the day in developing and implementing its policies.”