Letter: Where do Scotland's oil boundaries lie?

There's an element of the pot calling the kettle black in AG Quinn's complaint of "tiresome nationalism" among Scots (Letters, 23 August); there's as much in England, often extended to include the entire UK. ?

However, I was more interested in his comment that fewer of the North Sea oilfields lie within Scottish waters than imagined. That is the case since the UK government's 1999 Scottish Adjacent Waters Bill moved our North Sea boundary northwards, annexing 6,000 square miles into English jurisdiction.

Technically, his notion of a fixed point where the border meets the sea at a specific angle is completely spurious. Does he mean on sand or on land? In which direction does any grain of sand point?

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At any specific coastal map grid reference, no land points in any precise direction. Even in an identifiable spot no larger than a millimetre square, there will be minor indentations pointing in different directions.

The only fair way to delineate a sea boundary is by means of a line parallel to established lines of geographical latitude.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road


I am pleased AG Quinn (Letters, 23 August) enjoyed his holiday in Scotland. I enjoy many trips to England - where I see vehicles with ENG stickers and those flying the St George's flag - but good manners would preclude me from complaining about these expressions of nationalism when a guest in another land, even if they did offend, which they don't. AG Quinn may not like a Scottish Government but it does exist and many in Scotland prefer it, unsurprisingly, to Westminster.

Something that may be of interest to AG Quinn is a report by Oxford Economics, which indicated that of the 12 "nations and regions" only Londoners pay more in taxes than Scots and public spending in Scotland comes ninth.

It is documented that between 92 and 97 per cent of the oil fields lie in Scottish waters. If only UK waters exist, how can he write of "the English North Sea gas fields"?

Please come back to Scotland again and enjoy your holidays here - but do make some attempt to understand the realities which unfortunately you, and so many of your compatriots, do not.

Bill McLean

Rosemill Court

Dunfermline, Fife

Alan Oliver (Letters, 23 August) is wrong to suspect that many English people who have moved to Scotland see it as no different to moving to Northumbria.

Those of us with any sense and even a little sensitivity realise even before we move that it is a different country with different customs and traditions, including a different legal system, while as Anglicans we have to accept that up here we are no longer Church of England but Scottish Episcopalian.

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It may help that I am half English and half Northern Irish while my wife is half English and half Welsh, so we are more conscious of the different countries that make up the United Kingdom. My father was brought up by a Scottish stepmother in the south-west of Scotland.When I meet other English people, I often try to find out whether they are here for good, as we are, or simply for as long as the current job lasts. The division is roughly 50:50, but I have yet to find anyone stupid enough not to realise they are in a different country.

Some of those who intend to return to England feel unwelcome or are irritated by the differences, but we feel that we have been made very welcome and have made new friends. It helps if people get involved and join local organisations, such as community councils, for example, and don't sit at the back hoping not to be noticed.

I can assure Mr Oliver there are many of us here who really enjoy the differences of all kinds.

David Wragg


South Queensferry