Contact details

contact email address

Saturday, 24 January 2015

No fracking in Scotland, says Murphy

The next Scottish Labour Government would use the new Smith powers to stop onshore fracking in Scotland, Jim Murphy said. The Scottish Labour leader said the environmental and safety case for fracking has not been made. The government in Edinburgh has always had a veto on fracking through the planning process, but now with other decisions on shale gas effectively devolved, it’s time for Scotland to set our standards high.

Scottish Labour would introduce a triple-lock system to halt any onshore fracking taking place in Scotland until environmental and health safeguards are in place. This involves:

A local referendum before final planning approval is given;
  • Halting any fracking in Scotland until the lessons of fracking in the rest of the UK are learned; 
  • A comprehensive review of the baseline conditions before any planning application is granted; 
Mr Murphy called on the SNP Government in Edinburgh to use its existing planning powers now to stop any onshore fracking in Scotland immediately and said the UK Government should suspend the current fracking licensing round in Scotland until new powers are devolved through the Smith Agreement process.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy said: "If I am elected First Minister in 2016 there will be no onshore fracking in Scotland until it has been shown beyond all doubt that it can be carried out safely. People are rightly concerned about shale gas. They are worried that it will be imposed on their community against their will and without their consent. I will not let that happen. So the next Scottish Labour Government will give local communities full control over onshore fracking in their area through a local referendum. No development will be able to take place without a majority of local residents endorsing any planning decision.

However the SNP are calling on Labour to clarify their position on a key House of Commons vote on fracking after a member of their shadow cabinet in Scotland refused to say how Labour MPs will vote on a proposed UK moratorium on fracking being debated on Monday. On BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland Sarah Boyack MSP repeatedly refused to clarify how Labour MPs will vote on the Infrastructure Bill Amendment at the House of Commons on Monday.

Commenting, SNP energy spokesperson Mike Weir said: “Labour need to clarify that their Scottish MPs will join the SNP in voting for a UK moratorium on fracking. Despite being repeatedly asked Labour’s position Sarah Boyack refused to say how Scottish Labour MPs will vote in Monday’s debate. The SNP will be voting for the amendment to ensure the Tories stop granting licences in Scotland given licencing powers are due to be devolved, as set out by the Smith Commission."