Scots and Welsh Nationalist MPs seek to sink UK Govt ‘Fracking Bill’ as Scottish Power digs for shale in England

Shale gas signWelsh and Scottish Nationalist MPs will today (Monday) seek to undermine the UK Government plans to permit unconventional underground oil and gas drilling without the consent of land/ home owners.

The group of nine nationalist MPs have put down a wrecking amendment to the second reading of the UK Infrastructure Bill;

That this House declines to give a second reading to the Infrastructure Bill because it introduces a measure to allow companies involved in hydraulic fracking to drill and to carry out their operations beneath land without the consent of the owners, that it also make a substantial amendment to the law of heritable property in Scotland, which is a devolved matter, without seeking the agreement of the Scottish Parliament, and, with regard to such developments in Wales, because it fails to grant any provision for the National Assembly for Wales to impose any condition they deem appropriate on such operations.”

Speaking ahead of today’s debate in the House of Commons, SNP Energy Spokesperson Mike Weir, MP, said: “We consider this to be unacceptable and removes property holders rights to hold to object to such operations, limited though they may be at present.”

“The Scottish Parliament has legislative control over planning and environmental measures but it is unclear as to how these powers interact with the powers retained by the UK government to grant Licences under the Petroleum Act and associated rights on holders of such licences under the Mines Act 1966. 

 “I have raised these issues with Ministers in two previous debates but have been unable to get any answer. I suspect the real answer is that these new clauses were introduced in a hurry in order to deal with a specific issue with English law of Trespass.

“No account was taken as to the situation in Scotland.  The law of property in Scotland is a devolved matter yet these clauses cut across property rights of landowners and no account has been taken of this, nor has any attempt been made to involve the Scottish Parliament.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow-based Scottish Power has teamed up with Egdon Resources to carry out exploratory drilling for shall oil and gas near its Hatfield Moor gas storage site in Lincolnshire.


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