Scottish Green backing for a second independence referendum in the light of the Brexit vote will not be used as leverage against the Scottish government, Patrick Harvie has confirmed.
The co-convenor of Holyrood’s fourth largest party said any such attempt would be “unethical”.
The MSP was being interviewed on BBC Scotland when he was pressed on the possibility of offering conditional support to the Scottish government to hold a second independence referendum. Dismissing the idea out of hand Harvie insisted his party would not jettison a policy both the Scottish Greens and the SNP both agreed on.
He told Gordon Brewer: “I think it would be quite wrong for any political party to use the fact of minority government simply to start playing games like that.
“I’m not going to trade off a policy we agree with in exchange for completely separate issues.”
Despite being repeatedly invited to say the Scottish Greens might threaten to block any Indyref2 bill, Harvie refused to comply with what appeared to be an agenda being pursued by the BBC man.
Repeating his earlier dismissal of Brewer’s suggestion he said: “The idea of Scotland becoming independent is absolutely a means to an end, a means of achieving the fairer Scotland we would be more able to deliver with the powers of independence.
“It’s not a bargaining chip to be put across the table in exchange for separate issues.”
Asked why not, the Scottish Greens MSP replied: “Because I think that would be an entirely unethical way to do politics.”
With SNP representation at Holyrood (63 MSPs) exceeding total combined Unionist representation (59 MSPs), the support of the Scottish Greens is not strictly required in order for a majority vote in favour of a second independence referendum. However Scottish Green backing would strengthen arguments against Unionist claims of there being no mandate.
Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley has already signalled he would not block moves to hold a second independence referendum.