Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed confirmation from the SNP Westminster Group that they will back an amendment in the House of Commons on Monday calling for a moratorium on fracking throughout the UK.
Mr MacDonald has also welcomed action by the Scottish Government’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing who has announced he will make a statement to the Scottish Parliament on the issue next week and has written to his counterpart in London, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey, calling on the UK Government not to issue any more licences for unconventional oil and gas in Scotland.
Commenting on the news, Angus MacDonald MSP said:
“This latest development in the ‘fracking’ saga shows just how much the Scottish Government is a listening government, taking on board concerns in the community. I am delighted that SNP MPs will vote for the amendment in the House of Commons on Monday calling for a moratorium on fracking. Monday’s vote in London can bring an end to the Tory days of gung-ho fracking policies in Scotland.
“In addition, given that there has been agreement to transfer powers over hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) to Scotland it is imperative that the UK Government does not issue further licences in Scotland in the period before the powers are transferred. I hope the UK Government take that on board.
“To date the Scottish Government has taken a cautious, considered and evidence-based approach to unconventional oil and gas. The SNP Government have put in place robust environmental regulation, tougher planning rules and successfully opposed the UK Government’s plans to end Scottish householders rights to object to drilling under their homes.”
In a further development today the SNP has called on Labour to clarify their position on the key House of Commons vote on fracking after a member of their shadow cabinet in Scotland refused to say how Labour MPs will vote on the proposed UK moratorium on fracking being debated on Monday.
On BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland today Sarah Boyack MSP repeatedly refused to clarify how Labour MPs will vote on the Infrastructure Bill Amendment at the House of Commons in two days time.
Commenting, the SNP’s prospective Westminster candidate for the Falkirk constituency Councillor John McNally said:
“Labour need to clarify that their Scottish MPs will join the SNP in voting for a UK moratorium on fracking. Despite being repeatedly asked Labour’s position Sarah Boyack refused to say how Scottish Labour MPs will vote in Monday’s debate.
“The SNP will be voting for the amendment to ensure the Tories stop granting licences in Scotland given licencing powers are due to be devolved, as set out by the Smith Commission.”