Sturgeon grilled on plans for Scottish owned energy company
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Last week, the SNP appeared to change its position on North Sea oil after its Deputy First Minister John Swinney argued its surging profits could be invested into an oil fund for Scotland, rather than be diverted to the Treasury. He claimed, citing expert predictions, that taxation on the North Sea shelf around Scotland will shoot up this year from £3.5billion to £13billion.
Perhaps in a move to encourage garner support for another independence referendum, Mr Swinny said an independent Scotland “would able to invest” in this “for the long-term”.
He added that the nation is “restricted from doing” this because of the “arrangements of the United Kingdom”.
But this comes after the Scottish Government said it wanted to “run down” the industry.
The Scottish First Minister has also previously made clear that ramping up North Sea oil and gas production is not a short-term solution to the energy crisis, which is seeing household bills soar across Britain.
Claiming it would take years to open up new oil or gas fields, Ms Sturgeon has previously argued the best move is to “accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels”, a comment which likely pleased the Greens of her coalition Government.
Scottish Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine said the U-turn is just a divisive move is that is not doing “what is best for the country”.
She told Express.co.uk: “The SNP have made a fine art out of changing what they say to suit them rather than doing what is best for the country.
“Their old ‘It’s Scotland’s Oil’ rant is not more accurate or helpful than it was in the 1970s when they first came up with it.
“It also illustrates clearly just how little impact the Greens are having with their two ministerial appointments and are in reality little more than bit players in the nationalist narrative.”
And Ms Jardine called on Edinburgh to do more to protect households amid the cost of living crisis as inflation rises and bills skyrocket.
She said: “We need actions not political slogans. The SNP/Green Scottish Government needs to use the powers, and the money that it has to help households and businesses.
“All these comments from John Swinney do is expose that there is literally no issue that the SNP will not try to use to stoke grievance and divide people.”
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This also comes after Ms Sturgeon said, after months of dithering, that the Cambo oil field off the coast of Shetland should not go ahead.
Her predecessor Alex Salmond warned: “The consequences could be far-reaching, and not just for the SNP but for the whole independence movement.
“It would be akin to Margaret Thatcher, having closed the pits, then campaigning for votes in the old mining areas of Cowdenbeath and Kelty.”
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