SCOTTISH Green co-leader Patrick Harvie has called for a second independence referendum to be held before the end of next year.

Launching his party’s manifesto in Glasgow yesterday, the MSP refused to say who people in seats not being contested by the Greens should vote for, while backing Nicola Sturgeon’s demand for a fresh plebiscite in 2020.

He also urged voters to demand more from the other parties at next month’s vote as he outlined the party’s climate-focused manifesto.

On the constitution, the Greens want indyref2 before the end of the UK’s transition period, which Boris Johnson has insisted will be at the end of next year. Harvie said it would be reasonable to give voters the choice on whether Scotland should become independent as the UK negotiates its withdrawal from Europe.

The move mirrors the First Minister’s call for a new vote on independence next year. “It’s certainly not co-ordinated but I think it is entirely rational,” Harvie said.

He continued: “Scotland didn’t vote for Brexit, Scotland certainly didn’t vote – I actually think that almost nobody in the UK voted – for the hard Brexit cliff-edge that’s being promised by Boris Johnson outside of the single market and outside the customs union, the abolition of a great many of our rights and protections and a deregulation agenda. Greens including Ross Greer were part of the legal case demonstrating that Brexit can be unilaterally stopped, we’ve got that power, we’ve got that if you want to call it a backstop, we can stop Brexit altogether.

“If it isn’t stopped, it’s perfectly reasonable to say that on that timescale, that transition timescale when every other country in Europe has a say on our future, when the UK has a say on our future, Scotland should also have a say in its own future.

“If Scotland was to vote for independence within that timescale, then you have the option of ensuring that our transition to EU membership as an independent country can be smoothed.

“I think it would be a mistake to leave it until after that transition period had ended. So it’s an entirely reasonable ask. I do think, however, and I want to stress this, Brexit can be stopped, should be stopped and we absolutely commit to ensuring that Green voices will advocate for the public to have the final say on any withdrawal agreement that any UK Government wants to promote.”

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READ MORE: ‘Independent Scotland can be climate leader’ say Scottish Greens

The Greens are standing candidates in 22 of Scotland’s 59 constituencies, up from the three they contested at the 2017 election.

“I do regret that we don’t have a Green candidate in every constituency but that’s why the slogan – ‘Demand climate action’ – on the front of our manifesto is relevant everywhere,” Harvie said.

“Demand climate action by voting Green if you can. If you don’t have a Green candidate in your local area, demand climate action of all of your candidates. And that doesn’t just mean ask them what are the standard environment talking points that have been provided to them by party office, ask them how they’re going to push their own parties beyond their comfort zone.”

At the heart of their offer to voters is a Green New Deal which the party says will “create thousands of good-quality, secure jobs, including 200,000 in Scotland”. They also call for a government-funded, progressive support scheme for renewables and public ownership of the national grid.

Moreover, they want North Sea oil to be “phased out” and for the country’s two nuclear power plants to be closed “as soon as possible”.

They also call for electoral law to be reformed “for the age of social media”, a four-day working week and the introduction of a Universal Basic Income. The Greens say their “long-term aim is provision of free public transport for all” and free bus travel “in the immediate term” for those aged under 21.