Argument for single energy market is best case for the union

A Scottish Government report has recommended keeping a single electricity and gas market with the rest of the UK, even if Scotland votes Yes in September.

The Expert Commission on Energy Regulation conceded it would be in a separate Scotland’s best interests to stay within the UK from an energy point of view, something the First Minister has agreed with.

It is the latest in a series of policies, alongside the Monarchy and the pound, which the SNP claims would remain in the event of independence.

The Scottish Conservatives have pointed out that this is yet another report which proves Scotland is better within the UK.

The party also warned the rest of the UK would be in a position to reject the idea of a single market, which could risk bills increasing in the event of separation north of the border.

And if a single energy market was agreed, the rest of the UK – which would make up the overwhelming bulk of the union – could be in a position to dictate terms to Scotland.

The rest of the UK could also adopt a completely different energy policy, meaning it would be unlikely to offer subsidies to renewable energy projects upon which the SNP are so dependent.

In addition, an EU court ruling last week stated that no government must pay subsidies to another country for renewables.

That means, should Scotland become independent, there would be no obligation for the remaining UK to bankroll wind turbines north of the border.

MurdoFraserMSP20110510Scottish Conservative Energy Spokesman Murdo Fraser MSP said:

“The Scottish Government has commissioned a report which has made a splendid argument for remaining as part of the UK.

“Yet again, it has extolled the virtues of the strength of the UK, and illustrates how illogical the SNP’s separation plans are.

“Yes, a single market for gas and electricity is ideal, and that is what we already have.

“It seems Alex Salmond wants to go to an awful lot of trouble to keep what we’ve currently got.

“If there were to be a Yes vote in September, there are no guarantees the remaining UK would agree to this single market unless it was very much in their interests.

“And for it to be in their interests, it’s reasonable to think the government of a separate Scotland would have to make some concessions.

“Those could include losing subsidy money, which in turn would run the risk of household energy bills getting higher.”


Pictured is Murdo Fraser, MSP







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