Following a Times report that 1970s Labour ministers discussed moving maritime borders to bring North Sea oil into “English waters” as part of a covert campaign to undermine support for Scottish independence, Kenneth Gibson has renewed his calls on the UK Government to rescind the Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999.
This damaging statutory instrument was imposed on Scotland in April 1999 by the then UK Labour Government only days before the Scottish Parliament reconvened.
The 1999 Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order reduced Scottish waters by 15,000 square kilometres compared with the Continental Shelf Order 1968 and the Civil Jurisdiction (Offshore Activities) Order 1987 and thus removed any future Scottish control over oil, gas, other minerals and fishing rights.
In June 1999, the then Scottish Parliament Labour and Liberal Democrat Coalition acquiesced to this theft of Scottish waters and rejected an SNP amendment that the east coast sea boundary be redrawn to a line of latitude due east of the termination point of land border between England and Scotland.
Kenneth has long argued for the arbitrary boundaries imposed by the UK to be re-drawn as part of the so-called respect agenda and has submitted five motions regarding this issue since 2010, the last being on 25 January this year.
“These shadowy revelations in The Times are hardly surprising, given how successive UK Governments tried to undermine the economic case for Scottish independence by re-drawing our maritime borders.
“What is desperately sad is that Labour and Lib Dem MSPs were happy to give up 15,000 square kilometres of Scottish waters at the behest of their bosses in London, against the clear interests of Scotland – their own country!
“‘An independent Scotland could confidently make the case that the England-Scotland border should be drawn back towards the original East-West alignment.
“‘There have been numerous settlements around the world where this approach was taken, including judgements made by the International Court.
“‘We will no longer accept UK Governments and their Scottish branch offices putting their own interests above those of Scotland’s people.”