Nicola Sturgeon 'regurgitated SNP pledges' says Wells
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The Scottish Greens will hold a membership meeting to discuss the proposal for a power-sharing agreement with the SNP this weekend. If enacted, it will provide a majority at Holyrood for legislation to enable a second independence referendum. Energy formed a key part of the first independence battle in 2014 as Scotland boasts one of the most favourable conditions in Europe for harvesting wind.
And Chris Stark, the Chief Executive of the UK’s Climate Change Committee, has told Express.co.uk that he expects it to be up front and centre once again.
He said: “I don’t know whether we will have a second independence referendum.
“I know its the policy of the Greens and the SNP’s, but there is a looming fight with Westminster over the issue still.
“Until we know what the proposal is, it’s difficult to speculate, but in 2014 this was a huge issue.
“I would expect that, in the preparations for a second referendum, this will be one of the critical fights.”
The Scottish government’s proposed that a single UK-wide market for each of electricity and gas should continue.
But the Government argued that it saw no basis to justify continued cost-sharing of a single integrated market and stated the arrangement “could not continue in its current form”.
Now, Mr Stark believes that is not as much of a threat as it once was.
He added: “How the energy market will operate is an unanswered question, but things have changed since 2014.
“Offshore and onshore wind looks less like something you need to subsidise and more like a cheap energy source.
“That’s a big difference if we do have a second referendum.
“It’s now less about whether English consumers will subsidise Scottish wind and it may be more that Scotland is responsible for those.
In 2019 it was reported that Scotland was producing enough wind energy to power the country twice over.
Meanwhile, 48 percent of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources in 2020.
Mr Stark said Ms Sturgeon is heading in the right direction to secure a strong position should history repeat itself.
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He continued: “At the moment there is a completely interrelated grid, so it’s a difficult question – it depends on the timing.
“But there will become a point where Scotland’s extensive renewable resources are enough to support a domestic energy system alone.
“They would still want to export that energy, so whatever happens I don’t think there will be a situation where Scotland is not linked to the rest of the UK.
“There will never be a point where we close the borders, that’s changed a lot since 2014.”
Opposition parties have described the new arrangement between the SNP and Scot Greens as a “nationalist coalition of chaos” that will be a “disaster” for Scotland.
The agreement will see two Green MSPs appointed as junior ministers in Ms Sturgeon’s government.
These ministers could be invited to attend cabinet meetings when their portfolios are being discussed, with the Green co-leaders attending cabinet at least twice a year.
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