THE Scottish Greens have revealed their top priorities for the year ahead, including pledging to do “everything we can” to deliver a Scottish independence referendum.

Lorna Slater, the party's co-leader, said the coming year will all about "people, planet and independence".

Speaking before Holyrood returns from its Christmas recess, she said the Greens will use the next year to work on building a “fairer, greener recovery”.

The Green MSP said: “2023 will be a crucial year for Scotland and for our planet. It must be a year of environmental renewal and a recovery that works for ordinary people.”

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She highlighted the party’s record since joining the Scottish Government after signing a co-operation agreement with the SNP.

That saw Greens leading the change in 2022, Slater said, adding: “With Scottish Greens in government, we delivered a 150% increase in the Scottish Child Payment to help vulnerable families through the worst cost crisis for generations, an end to permission for new incinerators, record investment in wildlife and nature and free bus travel for everyone under 22.”

Slater, the minister for green skills, the circular economy and biodiversity, continued: “In the months ahead, we will build on these successes, deliver for people and planet and continue our transition to a better and more sustainable future.

“In my ministerial role, that will include the next steps for our groundbreaking biodiversity strategy and the delivery of the deposit return scheme. These are the kind of changes that will leave a legacy Scotland can be proud of.”

The National: Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie

Slater said “with the powers of an independent country we could do even more”.

She said “big changes” – like removing nuclear weapons from Scotland, ending drilling for oil and gas in the North Sea and rejoining the European Union – can only be achieved if Scotland leaves the UK.

“That is why we will do everything we can to deliver a free and fair referendum on Scotland’s future,” she said.

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“The reality is that we are being held back by a cruel and incompetent Tory government in Westminster. With three prime ministers in 2022 alone, it is clear that we cannot afford another 12 months of Tory chaos.

“By focusing on people, planet and independence, we will build a fairer, greener recovery.”