Scotland politics

Harvie tells Scottish Greens to prepare for indyref2

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Media captionPatrick Harvie: Indyref2 is necessary due to Brexit

Patrick Harvie has called on Green party members and supporters to prepare for the next independence campaign.

He told the party conference in Perth that they have a vital role to play in any future referendum.

The co-convener also said local government elections are a chance to "bring power back to people".

The Greens won their second-best ever Holyrood result in May's elections, leapfrogging the Lib Dems into fourth place.

The MSP claimed a second independence referendum is the only way to secure Scotland's place in Europe following the Brexit vote.

He said: "We find ourselves with the results of two referendums which can't fit together. We have a two year old 55% mandate and this year's 62% mandate.

"Even if Better Together and the Leave campaign hadn't lied, the UK which people voted for in 2014 no longer exists."

Image caption The co convenor of the Scottish Greens urged members to prepare for indyref2

He issued a rallying cry to party members, saying the Greens have a vital role to play in the campaign. He said: "We must prepare for the next independence campaign, not just to win a Yes vote, but to win a better Scotland.

"Greens will continue to strengthen the case on issues such as currency and industrial strategy."

The party could have a decisive role given the SNP's position as a minority government, particularly given the Greens' support for Scottish independence.

However, they have already lined up with other opposition parties against the government in a number of votes on issues like the council tax and fracking.

He also told delegates in Perth that the local government elections are a chance to "make breakthroughs that help bring power back to people".

He said: "We're also moving into a year in which Scotland will decide how our local communities are run for the next five years; when Holyrood will decide whether councillors will have the freedom to renew and revitalise local democracy, or just hand on more cuts to public services.

"And we're moving into a year in which we'll have the chance to build a fairer economy by sharing the wealth that all of us generate but which has been hoarded by so few for so long."

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