A HISTORIC power-sharing deal which will see the Scottish Greens join the SNP in government will go ahead after being approved by party members yesterday.

The agreement will mean Scottish Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater become government ministers – the first time any Green representative has held political ­office in a government in the UK.

One of the key features of the new arrangement is the SNP will have a built-in majority for issues it has agreed on with the Greens – ­including a bill for another ­independence ­referendum.

Yesterday the deal was approved by members of the Scottish Greens at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) following a two-hour debate, and then formally ratified as required by the party’s constitution.

By early afternoon, a clear ­majority in favour had emerged, with 1169 members – 83% – backing the deal. A total of 234 voted against and nine abstained, while a small number of proxy votes were still to be counted.

The SNP also announced the ­results of its ballot of members ­yesterday, with 94.9% of votes cast saying “yes” to the deal. The party’s ruling body had already endorsed the agreement.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted she was delighted with the “overwhelming endorsement” by members.

She added: “Looking forward now to getting on with the job of ­building a greener, fairer, ­independent ­Scotland.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon praises SNP members' 'overwhelming endorsement' of Greens deal

Harvie said there “could not be a more important and more ­urgent ­moment for Greens to enter ­government and take green politics to the next level”.

He said: “This is a really ­extraordinary moment for the Green movement and for myself, I’ve been going along to Green Party meetings since childhood, I’ve been part of this movement for a very long time and it is a real ­moment of privilege and responsibility to be taking green politics to the next level as part of the Scottish Government.

“I’m very excited to be able to show what green politics will be like in practice and I think we have a transformational programme from housing, to public transport, to renewable energy and much much more.

“We are going to be able to achieve great things as part of the Scottish Government.”

READ MORE: Scottish Green Party members vote to back SNP co-operation deal

He added: “One of the critical ­features of this agreement, unlike some of the coalitions that we’ve seen elsewhere, is that it marks out very clearly that there is space for both ­political parties to retain their distinct voices and identities.

“There are many issues where the Greens and the SNP don’t agree. The ability to continue to speak out on those issues is protected.”

Slater said: “This will be the first time that we have Greens in government in the UK and it will allow us to act as never before to tackle the climate crisis, the housing crisis, and the recovery of our economy after the pandemic.”

She said the Scottish Green have “always been a constructive opposition in Holyrood” and added: “This deal will allow more to do than we’ve ever done before, implement rent controls in Scotland, create a new national park and really accelerate the development of our renewable energy industry so we will make a significant change in the next five years.”

The draft power-sharing agreement was formally announced by ­Sturgeon and the two Scottish Green co-leaders at her official residence, Bute House in Edinburgh, on August 20.

READ: The full text of the SNP-Greens deal on co-operation

At the time the First Minister said: “We will work collaboratively to ­support a fair recovery from Covid, address with urgency the impacts of the climate emergency, and give the people of Scotland a vote on ­independence.

“The agreement recognises that ­co-operation and consensus are ­essential to finding the practical ­solutions to the big challenges we face, and it echoes the founding ­principles of our Parliament.

“While our parties do not agree on everything, we have much common ground. We also have a determination – and indeed a responsibility – to look beyond our differences to build a better country.”

The agreement involves a shared policy platform for the Scottish Government, including pursuing another vote on Scottish independence before the end of 2023, if the threat of coronavirus has subsided.

THE pledges include a £500 million just transition fund to move away from oil and gas, a bill to be introduced on the reform of the controversial gender recognition act within a year and a national rent control system by 2025.

READ MORE: Andrew Neil's attempt to stir up hatred towards SNP-Green deal falls flat

The parties have also agreed to disagree on the matter of fee-paying schools and field sports such as hunting and shooting. The two Green MSPs appointed as ministers will not be bound by collective responsibility – meaning they will not be held accountable – in these areas.

The deal states that public disagreement between the parties is only be allowed on a set of 10 agreed topics, such as aviation policy, green ports, direct financial support to businesses involved in the aerospace, defence and security sectors and the economic principles related to concepts of sustainable and inclusive growth.

The National: Scottish Greens education and media spokesperson Ross Greer said fake news is a threat to democracy and our wellbeing

Speaking during the EGM, Green MSP Ross Greer (above) insisted that the list of subjects could be changed if further agreements or disagreements emerge.

Labour leader Anas Sarwar tweeted it was “no surprise” the deal had been confirmed, adding: “It’s about the constitution, not the climate.”