THE SNP and the Scottish Greens shook hands on the Bute House Agreement (BHA) almost three years ago.

The image of former first minister Nicola Sturgeon and Green co-leaders Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie on the steps of Bute House was a historic one, with two Green MSPs being offered government positions for the first time ever.

It was also a key moment for the independence movement too it seemed, with the arrangement ensuring there was a pro-independence majority in the Holyrood chamber.

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But a separation has been brewing for some time, with things coming to a head in recent days after the Scottish Government ditched a key climate target.

Here’s how the story began, and ended…

August 20, 2021 – Bute House Agreement signed

The SNP emerged from the 2021 elections as the largest party, but they did not have a majority at Holyrood.

The Greens meanwhile also had their best ever result securing eight MSPs, meaning they could give the SNP exactly what they needed.

READ MORE: POLL: Is scrapping the Bute House Agreement the right decision?

The two parties agreed on a key issue – Scotland must be an independent country. But there were other policy areas the two parties would need to potentially compromise on and thrash out.

Negotiations began soon after the election and the deal was agreed on August 20 with 83% of Green members giving it the green light. A shared policy programme was published, but the agreement also set out a number of areas where the parties were allowed to disagree, which included green freeports and the defence sector.

January 2022 – Free bus travel delivered

In what was an instant sign of the cooperation agreement working well, the Scottish Greens policy of securing free bus travel for under-22s was delivered.

Hundreds of thousands of young people have benefitted from this move, taking more than 50 million journeys, saving them money and helping bus firms to recover from the pandemic.

The Greens were also key in securing a rent freeze and moratorium on evictions between September 2022 and the end of March this year. Rent controls are also at the centre of the new Housing Bill recently tabled in the Scottish Parliament.

December 2022 – Gender reform bill row sparks series of unfortunate events

If one thinks about where things started to go awry for the BHA, it was during the heated debate around the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, a key policy of the Greens.

While the legislation passed in the Scottish Parliament with overwhelming support before it was blocked by the UK Government, many of the more conservative voices in the SNP began to speak out against the power-sharing agreement. Nine SNP MSPs voted against the legislation and had done from the very beginning.

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The outspoken SNP veteran Fergus Ewing began to publicly slate the Greens at Holyrood calling them “wine bar revolutionaries,” before ripping up a consultation on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in the chamber. In the build-up to this he suggested using the consultation document “as a firelighter”.

READ MORE: IN FULL: Humza Yousaf's letter to Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater

In November last year the Scottish Government did indeed ditch the HPMA plans, which would have would have put an end to the vast majority of human activities occurring within their borders in an attempt to help boost biodiversity in Scotland’s marine habitats.

Another key policy of the Greens, the deposit return scheme (DRS), collapsed months before in June, largely thanks to UK Government interference. But Slater – who spearheaded the DRS - faced serious scrutiny as Circularity Scotland, the scheme administrator for the DRS, collapsed into administration.

Slater then had to fight for her position as she faced a vote of no confidence, in which Ewing voted against her. This ultimately ended up in a week-long suspension for him from the SNP. Cracks in the BHA were forming potentially, but First Minister Humza Yousaf was clearly not prepared to see it be brought down at this stage.

April 2024 – Ditching of climate target brings matters to a head

When the Scottish Government announced it would be ditching its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030, it became evident the BHA was in more danger than it had ever been.

Green members expressed their fury and Harvie announced there would be an emergency meeting of members to decide whether the BHA should continue. He added he would step down as co-leader if members voted to end it.

But before that meeting had been organised, Yousaf – who had been supportive of the BHA continuing from day one of his tenure – took control of the situation and removed Harvie and Slater from their ministerial posts, terminating the agreement with “immediate effect” on April 25.