Sturgeon handed huge IndyRef with new masterplan to ‘leverage’ control of UK energy

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The United Kingdom could soon face the threat of being split apart, as the Scottish National Party (SNP) has announced its plans to hold a second Scottish Independence Referendum by 2023. However, these plans have faced stiff opposition from leaders in London, with outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson opposing the move. 

With both the upcoming Conservative leadership candidates likely to oppose SNP’s nationalisation plans, a former SNP MP has offered Ms Sturgeon a new plan to force a second referendum.

Writing in the National, George Kerevan, an economist and former MP for East Lothian, called on the SNP to take “Scotland’s energy bonanza into our own hands”.

He argued that by nationalising the “oodles of energy” that Scotland possesses in the form of wind and North Sea gas supplies, the SNP could hold the UK’s energy as “leverage”.

In Prime Minister Johnson’s Energy Security Strategy, the Government has relied heavily on energy resources based in Scotland, both in the form of offshore wind energy, and North Sea gas reserves.

Mr Kerevan noted that the SNP previously had the opportunity to bring Scottish energy under state control, but rejected those plans over fears that the party would not find the capital needed to develop the power.

He wrote: “The worst decision economically taken by the SNP Government has been to repudiate the decision of the party’s conference to create a National Energy Corporation and so bring all energy under some form of state control.

“The disastrous consequences of that decision have never been more obvious.”

He argued that the SNP’s concerns could be solved by signing up to a state-private partnership that would ensure public oversight

He also noted that controlling Scottish energy would boost the country’s economy if they won the IndyRef bid, arguing that it would help reduce Edinburgh’s borrowing costs.

He said: “Besides, in a world where energy prices are going to remain high, a Scottish public stake in oil, gas and renewables will only benefit the creditworthiness of the Scottish Government in international financial markets.

“The current SNP strategy is to use international public opinion to shame the Tory government into either granting another referendum or agreeing independence negotiations after the Nats win a general election mandate.

“But we need a bit more leverage on our side than simply hoping Joe Biden or Donald Trump or the preoccupied leaders of Europe will phone Downing Street.

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“And putting Scotland’s energy into play provides just that leverage.”

With much of the UK’s domestic oil and gas reserves housed in the North Sea, as well as a high volume of the island’s renewable projects, Britain relies to some degree on the energy being generated in Scottish territory.

In fact, according to the most recent data, Scotland produced 25 percent of the UK’s renewable electricity, despite only accounting for around eight percent of the UK’s population.

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