In a week that saw UK Government Ministers admit to the existence of the No campaign’s Project Fear, the Treasury’s latest claims have continued to unravel under scrutiny.
It has emerged that the value the Treasury paper places on remaining oil is based on just 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) being produced in the UK continental shelf, despite the UK Governments own documents and the industry itself consistently predicting that up to 24 billion (BOE) remains to be recovered.
The Treasury paper also assumes that all production will cease in by 2028, despite the fact that other UK Government papers anticipate operations continuing “to well beyond 2050”. David Cameron himself has previously stated that “there are many, many years left of this great resource”.
The SNP also revealed earlier this week that claims in the Treasury paper that the Scottish Government had ignored the difference in price between oil & gas were completely false, while the Treasury’s own paper made clear that the methodology behind their claims on the effect of a border on trade “is likely to overestimate the effect of the creation of a border between Scotland and the rest of the UK especially in the short term”.
Commenting, SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson who convenes the Finance Committee said:
“Not for the first time the Westminster Government’s anti-independence papers have failed to stand up to scrutiny.
“Having failed to learn their lesson with their ludicrous mobile phone roaming charges paper, George Osborne now expects people in Scotland to simply ignore what the oil & gas sector and indeed the UK Government itself has previously said on future production.
“Despite billions of pounds currently being invested in exploration and improving production in the oil & gas sector, the Treasury are trying to say it will have no effect whatsoever.
“That just isn’t credible and is just the latest example of Westminster trying to treat people in Scotland like fools.
“Despite Vince Cable trying to distance himself from it earlier this week, it is clear to see Project Fear is in full flow in Westminster.
“People in Scotland deserve far better than the frankly embarrassing scare stories that the No campaign keeps churning out.”