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« Happy St Patrick's Day from Serbia | Main | Salmond on Question Time - he was good but the show failed Scotland and England »

March 18, 2010

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I sincerely hope that all the money from the future 'renewable industry' is not going to ebb away to the British Treasurery. Something must be done now, by the Scottish Government to acquire the income from this important resource.

TartanSeer,

Good question and the source of much confusion. The Crown Estate Commission is reserved as are most Crown revenues. But the property of the Crown is not - see Schedule 5 (3) (1) of Scotland Act. That means the seabed is property under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Parliament. It actually already belongs to us. Problem I have is that it is administered by the CEC in London. I advocate transferring title from Crown to Scottish Ministers and then on to local authorities as that is only way to competently remove CEC from equation under the existing devolution settlement.However, even in the absence of doing that, Scottish Ministers could, as a consequence of the devolved property rights be doing much more to lever influence but they've chosen not to.

Energy is reserved, but planning is not and neither is the way we tackle climate change. Land ownership/control is devolved, which is why the Scottish parliament was responsible for changing the law on access, feudal tenure and community buy outs for example. I guess the seabed is also land. Andy Wightman says it's within the jurisdiction of the Scottish parliament to administer this public property and I bow to his knowledge of these matters.

I am more than happy to be corrected, but are these issues not 'reserved matters'?

But Despairing ... Surely therein lies the problem with Scotland's politics. The kind of money we're possibly talking about is of obvious benefit to Scotland but the attitude you describe certainly isn't ... Narrow party interests put ahead of our interests ... It's why attitudes have to change or those who don't put their voters first need to get out of the business.

I think you've answered your own question here. Salmond's minority government is so polarising to the opposition that he'd never get it passed. Perhaps his successor might.

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