THE Scottish Greens will “definitely” have a conversation about how their membership and MSPs interact following the end of the Bute House Agreement, Lorna Slater has said.

The party co-leader spoke to the Sunday National about the future of the Scottish Greens in the wake of leaving government – and said they had a choice between two routes.

Would Green members “prefer just to shout loudly, or whether they would prefer to have that actual influence in the room,” Slater asked.

“Do we want to work towards being a party of government again, or do we want to focus on being a radical opposition?”

READ MORE: How the world's media reported on the end of the Bute House Agreement

The comments came after the former Green minister was asked if she could see the argument that it was pressure originating from her party’s membership that had ultimately led Humza Yousaf to end the Bute House Agreement.

Did she understand that he may have felt pressured for the SNP to cut ties before he could be embarrassed by the Green membership voting to do so?

“Yes, I think that's a fair argument from Humza Yousaf’s point of view,” Slater said, “but that is the nature of the Scottish Green Party”.

The National: Scottish Green co-leader Lorna Slater spoke to The National about the future of her party

“We are a democratic party. We are always seeking to improve our processes and that means improving how members communicate, how members can work with the parliamentary group, and that's something that we will now be doing some exercises on to see how we can improve.

“Because we do want both of those things. We want to be able to be a party of government that's delivering, that can be a trusted partner in government.

“But we also need our members to be able to have a say. So there's definitely a conversation to have within the party about how we can achieve both of those things.”

How will the Scottish parliament look after the next Holyrood elections?

Slater did not rule out future co-operation agreements with the SNP or other parties, saying that the Greens could enter a rainbow deal with Labour and the LibDems after the 2026 Holyrood election if that’s what the membership decided.

“The co-leaders of the Greens are much more spokespeople for the party. It's a bottom-up organisation,” she said.

“So the membership – and we've got some meetings scheduled in on this – will have a conversation about how we can further enable this kind of co-operation in the future.

“If that's what we want to do as a party, what mechanisms can we put in place to support that?”

She went on: “So, I think it's an interesting point going forward, if we do end up with a fractured parliament [after 2026], what is the vision?

“Do we continue to fracture along constitutional lines? Or do we look for that grown-up politics, find a few things in common and work toward those things?”

READ MORE: Lorna Slater: Humza Yousaf 'lost control of the right wing of SNP'

Slater said that she hoped Green members would see the impact having their party’s MSPs in government made and factor that into future decisions – and suggested it would be a “shame” to see Scottish politics continue to be split.

“It seems like we've imported some of the Westminster behaviour and the two big Westminster parties have kind of brought that in,” Slater argued. “It's much more attacking, much more hostile, much less collaborative, much less consensus-building.

“To some extent, that was a really special thing about the Bute House Agreement. It was built on rolling up sleeves, putting aside differences and let's focus on what we can agree on, let's focus on what we do. That was something new and different and that was clearly a major threat to the two big Westminster parties, who just freaked out at having the Greens in the room.”

New First Minister John Swinney's growth agenda

Slater and Harvie were both removed as ministers after Yousaf ended the SNP’s ruling deal with the Greens, and their MSPs then said they would back a no-confidence vote tabled by the Conservatives.

Without Green support, Yousaf was forced to resign and John Swinney took over at the head of a new SNP minority government.

READ MORE: Wee Ginger Dug: Did Greens give Humza Yousaf any choice but ending Bute House deal?

The SNP leader began his tenure by reaching out to the opposition parties in parliament, an acknowledgement that he will need to secure support from at least one of them in order to pass new legislation, likely on a case-by-case basis.

Last week, Swinney was stressing his pro-business credentials, saying that he would “dedicate every fibre of my being” to economic growth for a “clear social purpose”.

At an event at the Barclays Campus in Glasgow on Friday, Swinney said that driving for economic growth went “hand in hand” with driving down child poverty.

Slater said that the Greens would support Swinney as long as he was after growth for the right reasons.

“The question that the Greens will always ask is what kind of growth and for whom? Because yes, of course, there's loads of industries and sectors in Scotland which have great enormous potential for growth," she said.

“Renewable energy. Upgrading all of Scotland's homes, a massive project. Installing heat networks, a huge growth industry, a massive number of jobs. Green hydrogen, a huge growth industry.

“But we have to be clear that not every industry can grow. The number of cars on Scotland’s streets must decline. Aviation must reduce.

“So what kind of growth and who is benefiting from that? The kind of growth we've sometimes seen in the UK and elsewhere, only the richest benefit. The richest get richer and the poorer get poorer.

“That is not the kind of growth that's going to deal with child poverty.”

Does Scotland want to be like the US, or Scandinavia?

Slater said that some SNP MSPs are “active climate deniers” and raised concerns that green policies could be first on the chopping block for a Scottish Government looking to make savings.

However, she argued that climate policies should not be dropped as they could deliver much wider benefits that also tie in with economic growth and other Scottish Government priorities.

Highlighting examples, she said that the Nature Restoration Fund, plans for agricultural support and a prospective new national park all represented more funding for rural areas, “and in the case of a national park, more autonomy for rural areas”.

READ MORE: Angus Robertson: The tale of two parliaments for Scotland has never been starker

“That means people have more say in how money is spent in their communities. It would be the wrong direction, I think, to change that,” Slater added.

The Green co-leader further said that the Scottish independence movement still needed to grapple with a key question: does Scotland want high-quality public services with high levels of tax, or lower tax rates with the associated lower levels of public services.

“If the people of Scotland want Scandinavian levels of public services and quality of life, we have to pay Scandinavian levels of taxes,” she said. “That's it. That's the bottom line.

“You can't pay American levels of taxes and have a Scandinavian quality of life, you can't do that.

“So there is a big kind of fundamental question as to what kind of Scotland we're building now.”