AFTER a tumultuous year when we were dragged out of the EU against our will, Scotland is approaching autumn delivering our own constructive and collaborative politics.

Holyrood’s historic new deal makes us the first UK nation to have Green Party ministers.

In spite of widespread voter support, the Greens are represented at Westminster by only one MP, the highly principled Caroline Lucas. In May’s Holyrood elections, however, with 16 parties on the South Scotland ballot, many voters selected the Green Party, firmly rejecting the minor contenders, even those whose candidates were household names.

Winning eight seats, the Green Party overtook the Lib Dems to become the fourth largest group at Holyrood.

A total of 94.5 per cent of SNP members have recently endorsed the Green deal and I’m confident you’ll welcome it too: it pioneers the different way of doing consensus politics that you voted for.

My MSP’s inbox reveals the county’s environmental concerns: inappropriate planning that threatens green spaces, speeding, respect for humane farming, demand for lower carbon emissions and renewable energies, protection of the biosphere. The new deal both reinforces the call for independence and shows that Scotland shares with other European nations the conviction that the climate emergency should be central to the political agenda. What a crucial message for Nicola Sturgeon to take to Glasgow’s COP26 conference.

What does it mean for East Lothian? The deal prioritises tackling climate change and protecting the natural environment through agriculture, marine protection, aquaculture, forestry and woodlands management, and land reform. Beyond that lies a framework for delivering shared objectives for a fairer, democratic, outward-looking Scotland, promoting post-pandemic economic recovery and green transport. Better mental health is highlighted with reformed, enhanced public services serving communities effectively.

Personally, I am quietly proud to have championed the Green deal proposal for a new national park. East Lothian can argue strongly that this should be designated in our varied and beautiful county, birthplace of John Muir, who gave the world the original concept of national parks. It’s the right time for a national park to be coming home.