Nicola Sturgeon quizzed during briefing about hospital figures
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The SNP and Scottish Greens have published details of their new power-sharing arrangement, which includes a commitment to hold another vote on independence within the next five years. Energy formed a key part of the first independence battle in 2014 as Scotland boasts one of the most favourable conditions in Europe for harvesting wind. At the time, the Government argued that it saw no basis to justify continued cost-sharing of a single integrated market and stated the arrangement “could not continue in its current form”.
But with the Scottish First Minister hoping to rejoin the EU, experts at Edinburgh Napier University said in March that green energy “would be of particular mutual interest” for the pair and could get Scotland a seat around the bloc’s table.
They noted that Scotland’s wind energy production could “be diverted to supply the EU with green energy” in what would appear to be a masterstroke from Ms Sturgeon.
But Chris Stark, the Chief Executive of the UK’s Climate Change Committee, has told Express.co.uk there is one major roadblock.
He said: “There’s no connection from the mainland of Scotland to Europe at the moment, except via England.
Nicola Sturgeon appears to have hit a major roadblock (Image: GETTY)
The SNP and Scottish Greens announced a historic deal (Image: GETTY)
“That may change in the future, but it’s difficult to know until there is an agreement to construct a piece of transmission that goes across the North Sea.
“There is no potential to export that electricity directly.”
The expert said “we might see” the exportation of hydrogen and “certainly” the expertise from the oil and gas sector.
Mr Stark added: “It’s very different from the oil rush that we saw in 1970 in Scotland – this is a different kind of transition.
“I don’t know if Scotland will be exporting lots of energy.
Renewable energy formed an important part of the first independence debate (Image: GETTY)
“Firstly it depends on whether the referendum even happens and, secondly, the timing of it.”
Opposition parties have described the new arrangement between the SNP and Scot Greens as a “nationalist coalition of chaos” that will be a “disaster” for Scotland.
The agreement will see two Green MSPs appointed as junior ministers in Ms Sturgeon’s government.
These ministers could be invited to attend cabinet meetings when their portfolios are being discussed, with the Green co-leaders attending cabinet at least twice a year.
BBC Scotland’s political editor, Glenn Campbell, said the arrangement will “look like a coalition but fall short of a coalition”.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: GETTY)
Sturgeon is keen to hold another vote on independence (Image: GETTY)
The pro-independence Greens have signed up to the bulk of the Scottish government’s policy, but there are expected to be huge areas of disagreements.
The pair say they will secure a referendum on Scottish independence “within the current parliamentary session on a specific date to be determined by the Scottish Parliament”.
Their intention would be for the referendum to be within the first half of the five-year parliamentary session.
In May, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) reported that it would hit the Scottish economy “two to three times” harder than Brexit.