THE Scottish Greens are to restate their commitment for an independent Scotland joining the EU as well as make new pledges for the country to join international bodies to increase its influence in the push for independence, The National can reveal.

With the party on course to win a record 12% of the regional vote, netting 11 MSPs and possibly enter government for the first time in Edinburgh with a coalition with the SNP the pro-independence party will also set out a range of policies in its election manifesto for the country to play a greater role on the world stage as a devolved part of the UK.

The party, led by Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, wants Scotland to seek associate membership of the international health body, the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as the Scandinavian group, the Nordic Council as well as observer status at the Arctic Council.

An extract from the external relations section of the Scottish Greens 2021 manifesto states: “Even without being a fully independent state, as a nation with devolved powers Scotland can take a more active role in the international community.

“To build our influence, contribute to global efforts to address the pandemic, and forward the transition to a net-zero economy, the Scottish Greens will seek for Scotland:

  • Associated Member Status of the World Health Organisation
  • Associate membership of the Nordic Council
  • Observer status of the Arctic Council.”

The party believes the moves would help pave the way for independence by winning over allies internationally and at time when the UK post-Brexit is limiting its influence in Europe. But it also believes greater

international participation by the Scottish Government would send a signal that an independent Scotland would be to be outward looking and collaborate with other nations.

Both the Nordic Council and WHO include associate members who are not fully-independent countries, such as the Faroe Islands and Puerto Rico, a situation the Scottish Greens say offers proof that Scotland need not wait until independence to participate in global affairs.

The party’s manifesto highlights the importance of international co-operation in addressing recovery from the pandemic and the climate emergency and suggests Scotland should begin working with international partners immediately.

As well as providing immediate benefits, the document says participation would also prepare the nation and its institutions for the transition to independence and the responsibilities of a fully sovereign state.

On re-joining the EU, the manifesto is emphatically in favour.

It says: “The Scottish Greens believe Scotland’s future is best served as a full member of the European Union, collaborating with our European neighbours to build a green, prosperous and fair Europe.

“We will therefore campaign, with the support of the European Green Party and its many elected representatives, to re-join the EU as an independent nation”.

Commenting on the manifesto’s commitments Ross Greer, the Scottish Greens external affairs spokesman, said: “This past year has reminded us all that the greatest challenges facing our world have no respect for borders.

“Recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and tackling the climate emergency will require meaningful international co-operation. Scotland can play a much greater role in that now.

“There’s no need to wait for independence before we take our place on the international stage.

“As a devolved parliament with significant powers we should take every opportunity to work with our friends and neighbours on global and regional issues, not least because the experience will stand us in good stead for that day soon when we achieve our independence.”

He added: “Greens believe in an outward looking Scotland, one that seeks to build its influence by working in partnership with other countries.

“Playing an active role in international bodies such as the WHO and Nordic Council is the logical next step towards that.”