Skip to main content

Energy Policy

Volume 545: debated on Thursday 17 May 2012

9. What recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the effect of potential Scottish independence on energy policy. (107618)

I have had no recent discussions with the Scottish Government on the effect of potential Scottish independence on energy policy. The UK Government’s position on the independence debate is clear: Scotland is stronger in the UK, and the UK is stronger with Scotland in it.

I think that a few people will have been slightly disappointed by the Secretary of State’s answer. According to evidence given to the Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change by Peter Atherton of Citigroup Global Markets, investment in Scottish renewables in an independent Scotland would be “highly questionable”. Given that other companies are also saying that they are withholding investment, should not a referendum on Scottish independence be held now rather than later, for the good of energy in this country?

The hon. Gentleman knows the position of Her Majesty’s Government. He knows that we would like a referendum to be held sooner rather than later. We are very committed to ensuring that there is investment in the UK’s energy infrastructure, whether it takes place in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland. However, some people are saying that uncertainty about an independent state is putting off some investors, and that is one reason for thinking that the independence referendum should be held sooner rather than later.