Division of oils

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Those who think that an independent Scotland would fail to negotiate currency union with the rest of the UK have not thought the matter through. It is fair to ask the Yes side what would be the position if there was no currency union.

Another question needs to be put to the Better Together side. How would the rest of the UK finances cope if its oil and gas revenues were permanently reduced to 10 per cent of total take?

Alex Kemp, Professor of Petroleum Economics at Aberdeen University, says the “obvious” choice, with Scottish independence, would be to divide oil and gas resources on a geographical basis using a “median line”.

This was used in 1999 to determine the boundary between Scotland and the rest of the UK for fishing rights. On this basis, an independent Scotland would control 90 per cent of the oil and gas resources. Prof Kemp found that in 2010 the Scottish tax share exceeded 90 per cent.

Better Together sneers at the Yes side, pointing to the apparently settled position of the UK political parties that there would be no currency union.

Let them answer how the rest of the UK would manage with permanently reduced oil and gas revenues.

The truth is that an independent Scotland has a strong negotiating hand and a currency union is as unlikely as the rest of the UK accepting a permanent reduction of oil revenues to 10 per cent.

Sam McComb

Friars Bank Terrace

Dunbar