“We’d ban fracking if we had the power” – SNP

AQ Twitter

Source:  BBC Twitter

The Scottish government would ban fracking if it had the legal power to do so, a senior member of the Scottish National Party has said.

Kirsty Blackman, the party’s deputy leader in the Westminster Parliament, said the current moratorium on planning permission for fracking was the only course open local to the Scottish Government.

She was speaking in response to a question on Radio 4’s Any Questions? broadcast from Dunoon Burgh Hall in Perthshire. A listener asked:

“Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish parliament that ‘Fracking is banned in Scotland.  End of story. 

“Should Scottish voters take what the First Minister says in Parliament as PR gloss or the truth?”

The question referred to the statement made by Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister Questions in Holyrood on October 5th 2017.  Replying to a challenge by Mark Ruskell for the Greens to “get this ban properly over the line”, Ms Sturgeon replied

“Fracking is banned in Scotland.  End of story.”

The reference in the question to “gloss” came from last week’s court case in which Ineos and Reach Coal Seam Gas sought a judicial review of the Scottish Government’s decision on fracking. The advocate for the Scottish Government, James Mure QC described the concept of an effective ban as a “gloss”. He said: “It is the language of a press statement”.

Ms Blackman was pressed by Any Questions? host Jonathan Dimbleby, to clarify the Scottish Government’s position. She said:

“The reality is that we don’t support the development of an unconventional oil and gas industry in Scotland and that’s why a moratorium was introduced in 2015.”

kirsty blackmanAsked if it amounted to a ban, she replied:

“We don’t have the full powers over this. We’ve had to introduce a moratorium in terms of the planning process. Because it’s through the planning process, a clear legal process has got to be followed.”

She continued:

“If we had full control of powers we could have just banned fracking in Scotland, not through planning.”

Richard Leonard - Labour - Central Scotland

Richard Leonard, the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, said he supported the Scottish Government’s position which he described as “tantamount to a ban on fracking”.  He pointed out that the oil and gas licencing process is now under the control of the Scottish government.

Regarding the current legal challenges he said:

“These court cases are an interesting test of where the balance of power lies in society. If people democratically decide that they don’t want fracking, surely the democratic mandate of the government should allow them to ban fracking.

“It shouldn’t be that multinational corporations or corporations that are in the hands of one or two powerful individuals should be able to change the energy policy of a country.”

liam foxThe Conservative Party’s panellist, Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, said oil companies in Scotland had told him there was a lack of clarity over the issue:

“[The oil companies] understood originally that the government’s position in Scotland was that they had effectively banned fracking in Scotland and now, when faced with a court challenge, as the government’s advocate said, it was the language of PR and not the language of government, so I’m not really clear where that position leaves them.”

It was left to the fourth member of the panel, American Drew Liquerman, Chair of the Scottish branch of Republicans Overseas, to mount a defence of fracking.  He argued that the United States had been fracking for 70 years at over 250,000 sites, and the process had helped the country become energy independent and less reliant on coal.

However, regarding the situation in Scotland he said:

“I believe in freedom and federalism.  If Scotland as a society decides they don’t want to have fracking, that’s the democratic will of the people and that’s the democratic will of the government.”

He concluded:

“Fracking if done properly can be safe.  But it’s up to the people.”


Any Questions? recording
Discussion on fracking is 37 minutes from the start of the programme.

17 replies »

  1. I apologise on behalf of Scotland for giving the world the SNP, an embarrassment to all the intelligent Scots that don’t vote for them. Unfortunately due to their exceptionally poor record on education I don’t see the intelligence swingometer going in my favor and they will retain power until they have to start taxing everyone more and not just the wealth creators.

  2. No need to apologise, GBK. The failure with the “day job” and the need for them to defend their record in a re-balanced Westminster, rather than continue to moan about the record of other parties, will continue to catch up with them. Realities do tend to eventually have an impact over illusion, and the Scottish people as a whole will benefit when their composite views are respected.

  3. As stated, the moratorium is tantamount to ban (different procedural logic, same outcome). Not that confusing except for people who dont like it and need further explanation.

  4. It was great that three out of the four panelists on this show said they categorically did not support fracking, and the only one who spouted it’s wares was a non-scot {was that you GBK?) who said it had saved the US (LOL); reduced emissions (even bigger laugh) and that wind turbines only killed birds (absolutely rolling over in hysterics). Needless to say the audience did not like him either……

    • Dont mention “The Scottish Yay or Nay Word Play” Sherwulfe, its bad luck? Or GBH will have to spin round three times and throw salt lake city salt over his shoulder?

      Yes i heard that Question Time prog expecting an actual discussion, but it was less than five minute with the Chair of Republicans Overseas Scotland Drew Liquerman spouting Trumpisms and then it was all moving swiftly on? Some points were made, but i thought it was railroaded by the American Chair of Republicans Overseas Scotland Drew Liquerman. I will resist the urge for word play? Even the Scottish word play?

  5. Your Scottish? Yeah, right. Is Scotland part of the USA now? No wonder you call yourself GottaBKidding!

  6. Try embracing diversity, if it exists Ellie. Who knows, you might find Cindy equally refreshing!

    Too much hate in this world without looking for new people to hate. The people you excite with that sort of approach are pretty lost to civilised society, but if they are seen as possible recruits, perhaps they may bring their own aniseed balls with them?

    • Cindy / GBH, Ellie, look at the terminology.

      Interesting martin? Does that go for nimbys and swampies and protesters and protectors too martin? Not to mention Russians, commies, greeny gangstas and al the other hatemale terms thrown about willy nilly by certain of your fellow “contributors” and yourself on these pages?

      Strange? I thought that they are hate word for some on this site? Naming no names of course?

      “Too much hate in this world without looking for new people to hate”

      But apparently hypocrisy is AOK? Funny that? Actually, not very?

      I think you just made another aniseed ballsup of your comment martin? You lot really dont think things through do you? But of course that has been plainly obvious from the start?

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