Following a recent visit to Glasgow and Edinburgh, Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary, Caroline Flint, has warned that Scotland would face higher energy bills and lose much-needed investment in renewable energy if it exited the UK.
The MP for Don Valley in Yorkshire said that in the event Scotland exited the UK, she could see ‘no reason why consumers in England and Wales would carry on subsiding energy investment in Scotland’.
She added: “Of course I can’t make decisions today about what might happen years from now in a world in which Scotland has exited the UK. But in all honesty, if Scotland votes to leave the UK and I’m Energy Secretary after the next election, I can’t see why consumers in England and Wales would carry on subsidising investment in what would be a foreign country.”
“The investment in clean energy that has created so many new jobs, as well as supporting our existing industries, would grind to a halt too. About one third of total British investment in renewable energy comes to Scotland. But Scottish consumers contribute less than one tenth of the cost of the support for clean energy.
“By sharing Scotland’s resources among 27 million households across the whole of Britain, it means Scotland can spread the costs and share the rewards of investing in renewable energy.”
“For families in Scotland, and everywhere in Britain, Labour would freeze energy bills for 20 months and undertake the biggest reform of the energy market since privatisation to stop you being overcharged again in the future.
“But given the Nationalists have formed an unholy alliance with the Tories and the big energy companies and opposed our plans, if Scotland broke away from the rest of the UK, while bills stabilised elsewhere, they’d carry on rising inexorably north of the border.”
* The Scottish Energy Minister/ Government was invited by Scottish Energy News to provide a comment in reply to Ms Flint’s statement. At time of going (electronically) to press, no such comment was forthcoming.