Scotland’s renewable energy sector could miss out on millions of pounds in funding for innovative marine energy technology – with Brexit threatening cash the European Union has pledged in support.
The EU is establishing a €320 million investment fund to support wave and tidal power technologies, a sector in which Scotland is a world leader.
The looming threat from from British Independence from the EU bloc puts access to this funding under threat.
Commenting, SNP MSP Gillian Martin, a member of the Scottish parliament’s Economy Committee, said: “This announcement from the EU follows an event in Brussels which celebrated many of Scotland’s achievements and demonstrates exactly why it is vital that we remain within the European Union.
“Scotland is a world leader in marine renewable technology and this situation shows just how little the UK government cares for this pioneering Scottish industry.
“The EU announcement could prove massively beneficial to the developers of wave and tidal technologies in Scotland, who are already creating jobs and economic benefits.
“But with the hard Brexit the Tories have in store for us, it seems unlikely that we’ll benefit from this new investment.
“That’s why it is now vital that the UK Government commits to providing equivalent levels of support for the industry in the event of a self-inflicted hard Brexit.
“The attitude of the EU is in stark contrast to the UK government, which continues to bury its head in the sand over the need to transition to renewable energy – with delays on Contracts for Difference and the betrayal of our island communities over remote island wind projects.
“Scotland’s place in the EU must be protected – or we will soon be facing many more missed opportunities like this one.”