“Vote for separation would halt investment in the North Sea”

ENERGY Minister Michael Fallon has warned that Scottish independence will come at a price, threatening investment in North Sea oil, as well as the pockets of Scottish taxpayers.

Mr Fallon, speaking at a fringe Conservative event, said: “This month, the industry won tax reliefs worth £20 billion over 30 years against decommissioning costs. A separate Scotland could not afford that.”

“A separate Scotland could not afford this scale of support. A vote for separation would halt investment in the North Sea, and leave Scottish taxpayers with huge bills or big increases in energy prices or both. Scotland’s economy and Scottish jobs are at risk in next year’s referendum.”

‘Not just the oil and gas industry in danger’

Another threat of independence is to the renewable energy sector in Scotland. Mr Fallon said: “The UK pays £500 million a year towards renewable energy in Scotland, 40% of total UK funding for just 10% of the population.”

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has accused the Energy Minister of “scaremongering”, making the point that many small nations manage oil investment.

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