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Scotland's fiscal position worsened in 2012–13 as North Sea revenues fell

Today, the Scottish Government published the latest version of its annual Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotland (GERS) publication covering 2012–13. The IFS will be publishing a full report on these figures and the last pre-referendum update of our assessment of Scotland’s fiscal position next month. But what are the key findings that jump out of the latest year of data?

UKCS Maximising Recovery Review Final Report launched

On 10 June 2013 Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, announced a review of UK offshore oil and gas recovery and its regulation, led by Sir Ian Wood. The UK’s oil and gas industry is of national importance and makes a substantial contribution to our economy, energy security and employment. 42 billion barrels of oil and gas have already been produced from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), and 12 – 24 billion more could still be produced.

Scotland has been championed as the ‘green capital’ of Europe. The ambitious climate change legislation passed unanimously by the parliament in 2009 is often hailed by ministers as ‘world-leading’.

This ambition is reflected in the White Paper, albeit with less emphasis than one might have expected. The White Paper talks of “Using independence to build a clean, green and nuclear-free nation”, which would make Scotland “a beacon of environmentalism and sustainability”.

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  • 22nd January 2019

    The UK is increasingly polarised by Brexit identities and they seem to have become stronger than party identities, a new academic report finds. Only one in 16 people did not have a Brexit identity, while more than one in five said they had no party identity. Sir John Curtice’s latest analysis of public opinion on a further referendum finds there has been no decisive shift in favour of another referendum. The report, Brexit and public opinion 2019, by The UK in a Changing Europe, provides an authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date guide to public opinion on each of the key issues around Brexit. CCC Fellow, Dr Coree Brown Swan contributed a chapter on "the SNP, Brexit and the politics of independence"

  • 22nd January 2019

    In the papers accompanying the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill published at the end of 2018, the UK Government says that it is “exploring opportunities to co-design the final proposals with the devolved administrations.” There are clear benefits in having strong co-operation and collaboration across the UK in the oversight of our environmental law and performance. Yet the challenge of finding a way forward in terms of working together is substantial since each part of the UK is in a different position at present. Given where things stand today, it may be better to accept that a good resolution is not possible immediately and to revisit the issue at a later stage - so long as there is a strong commitment to return and not allow interim arrangements to become fixed. Colin Reid, Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Dundee examines the issues.

  • 17th January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses a memorable day in UK parliamentary history as the Commons splits 432-202 on 15 January 2019 against the Government's recommended Brexit route. It was the most dramatic night at Westminster since the Labour government’s defeat on a confidence motion in 1979.

  • 17th January 2019

    What is the Irish government’s Brexit wish-list? The suggestion that Irish unity, as opposed to safeguarding political and economic stability, is the foremost concern of the Irish government is to misunderstand and misrepresent the motivations of this key Brexit stakeholder, writes Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork).

  • 17th January 2019

    Brexit is in trouble but not because of the Irish backstop, argues the CCC's Michael Keating.

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