THE SNP and Scottish Greens will work together to “develop” the case for independence if the co-operation agreement is passed, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister also reiterated that she was “determined” to hold indyref2 in the first half of the current parliamentary term, during a press conference in Edinburgh on Friday.

It comes as a commitment to hold an independence referendum was listed as a top priority in the draft agreement between the two parties.

And, during the press conference today with Scottish Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, Sturgeon said that if the deal passes there will effectively have a “majority government” that supports a constitutional vote.

READ MORE: Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater urge Scottish Green members to take deal

The First Minister said: “For my part I am determined that there will be an independence referendum in this parliament, I said at the election, this agreement reiterates that, that Covid permitting that will be in the first half of this parliamentary term.

“I don’t want that as an end in itself or as some abstract ambition, I believe Scotland should be independent so that we can better equip ourselves to recover from Covid in the way that I think a majority of people in our country wishes to do towards a greener, fairer Scotland and one that learns the lessons of the past 18 months and more.”

Sturgeon added that she wants Scotland to be “outward looking” instead of one “forced to look inward by the Brexit obsessed government of the UK”.

She added: “This agreement I think, it’s not about making it more likely I think it makes it harder and indeed impossible on any democratic basis for a UK Government to resist the right of the Scottish people to choose their own future.

The National:

The First Minister made the comments during a press briefing on Friday

“The three of us standing here and our respective partys want that future to be an independent one, but the core principle of democracy is it should not be us or any other politician who decides the future, that should be, and will be in my view, a matter for the Scottish people.”

The National asked the First Minister in what ways the two parties will work together in government to prepare for a referendum.

She said: “We’ll work together. We don’t have identical visions for an independent Scotland, we saw that in the 2014 referendum, but we want the opportunity to work together to develop the case for independence.

“As I said during the election, while we are still in the acute crisis phase of the global pandemic that has to take priority for the government and we see even in today's Covid figures we’re seeing a rise in cases again that remind us of the importance of that.

READ MORE: SNP-Green deal will see two ministers in Government from Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater's party

“But we are also and I am determined that we advance the case for independence to give people in Scotland the choice of a referendum for recovery so we equip our parliament and our people with the powers to build the kind of recovery we want from Covid is absolutely essential.”

The First Minister also implied the deal will make it harder for the UK Government to refuse the vote.

She said: “We have a majority in parliament already for that independence referendum and if this deal is agreed and if this deal is implemented then we will have a majority government effectively that supports an independence referendum.

“Frankly, this question on this should not be for us, we’re simply asking for democracy to be respected, the questions should be directed at those who want to stand in the way of democracy.”