IT has been made very clear that the Westminster government puts its agenda before the good of the four nations. This has been transparently clear during the Covid pandemic.

Westminster is also paying lip service to the the climate crisis but in this case its agenda is also detrimental to the planet that we have abused for so long.

Westminster will love waving the flag it adores at COP21 and talking the talk of being world leaders in this effort. The problem is that its talk is not matched by action.

Though issues are numerous I am confining comments on the fact that Westminster wants to allow oil extraction in the Cambo oil field. It also wants to continue to issue further licenses for exploration and extraction elsewhere within the territorial waters of Scotland.

READ MORE: Tories accused of misleading Scots over oil projects in the North Sea

Westminster claims this oil is still needed while the world drives towards phasing out burning oil. A recent report indicates that there are sufficient worldwide oil fields already developed for this drive without developing any additional fields.

Westminster is also selective in what it includes when discussing the carbon footprint. It prefers to discuss the footprint due to the extraction and processing (20%) while largely ignoring the impact of the end use (80%).

Westminster further claims that the money generated by the Cambo field is required for the economic recovery from the Covid pandemic. Other countries in Europe are on the way to recovery without a boost from oil. Again Westminster’s love of distraction is evident. To put it simply: it needs to soften the consequences of Brexit.

READ MORE: Kate Forbes challenges Tories to match Scotland's £500m for a just transition

But to the question of who owns the oil in the North Sea. It is not Westminster’s oil nor is it Scotland’s oil. It is the Earth’s oil, formed over millennia by Mother Nature. We are are custodians of the oil that occurs on our land and territorial waters. We have the moral duty to leave it undisturbed so as to minimise the terrible consequences of global warming. In that way we will demonstrate our determination to be part of the solution. (Denmark has already done this.)

Westminster, purely through force of numbers, decided decades ago that it is in charge of exploiting oil throughout the four nations. Fine, but the oil in question lies in Scottish territorial waters. With the impending climate disaster, Scotland has the sovereign right to say to Westminster: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THE OIL ENTRUSTED TO SCOTLAND

Douglas Skoyles

MANY nations enjoy explaining their own creation myth – why God made their country so exceptionally beautiful, blessed and so on.

Our version is one of the best: how we won the lottery with outstandingly beautiful landscape, clever and industrious people, rich resources on land and sea and so on, but then God thought – “this is too much good fortune for one little country”, so gave us the English for neighbours...

My serious point is that we are still blessed by fabulous resources, and oil is one of them. While we are exploiting those over the next 20 years – rigorously monitored to conform with the highest “green” standards – invention and technology don’t just stop. Wind, wave and solar power, electric vehicles and so on are making huge advances, almost by the month, towards a cleaner, greener world.

In other words, Scotland has still won the jackpot of life, if it would only realise it, bid the vexatious neighbours a friendly goodbye – although we will still be the best neighbours they could imagine – and build a prosperous and (much) happier North European republic.

Oh, alright, the Windsors can keep Balmoral.

David Roche
Coupar Angus