WHO actually owns the offshore oil? The Act of Union brought about a voluntary marriage – in which case there is joint possession of common assets. At any divorce these assets are fairly reapportioned, taking into account any special contribution of one of the partners. Thus Scotch whisky is undoubtedly 100 per cent Scottish since it is made entirely in Scotland.
The same is not true for oil. That is a gift of nature and thus British oil belongs to the British people. Should Scotland vote for independence then its share of British oil must be the same as its share of the British population. This will be useful, but hardly the bonanza some say will follow a “yes” vote.
Tim Flinn, via e-mail