CBI Scotland, Energy and Policy.

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David MacVicar
Argyll

An article on the BBC caught my eye entitled “CBI Scotland calls for secure energy supply rethink” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/scotland/10313723.stm.

Scotland and Energy are two words that are often seen together in a sentence but Scotland’s inability to provide energy for itself, is not something high up my list of concerns.  It is however rather high on CBI Scotland’s concerns….

David MacVicar
Argyll

An article on the BBC caught my eye entitled “CBI Scotland calls for secure energy supply rethink” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/scotland/10313723.stm.

Scotland and Energy are two words that are often seen together in a sentence but Scotland’s inability to provide energy for itself, is not something high up my list of concerns.  It is however rather high on CBI Scotland’s concerns.

Just who is CBI Scotland, what needs securing and who drives their policy?  Well the CBI is a UK Business lobby.  It is based in London and has regional offices of which Scotland is one.

So, CBI Scotland is the UK Business lobby office North of the border and has a similar status to CBI Yorkshire and Humber.  This organisation’s offices in Scotland is currently lobbying for Nuclear power generation in Scotland.

Now, there are many pros and cons for New Nuclear and it is not something I will dwell upon here but suffice to say that the Scottish parliament firmly rejected new Nuclear, under Labour, until a full waste disposal process has been agreed.  For my part, it is oft said that Scots are prudent and it is indeed prudent to decide where we are going to locate today’s long term waste prior to generating more of it.

So, what is driving CBI Scotland’s policy for New Nuclear based here?
Is Scottish business pushing a strong business case for its production?
Is Scottish business missing out on a contemporary boom in New Nuclear?

If so then it is completely missing from CBI Scotland’s website.  To get a better idea I had a look at who sets CBI Scotland policy and a direct quote leaves no ambiguity whatsoever:
 
“A core element of the CBI’s work is its much-respected lobbying – an ongoing activity allowing members to drive change to the legislative and regulatory framework in which they have to operate, and backed by our 80-strong policy engine…” “our network of offices can draw on the expertise of more than 80 policy professionals at our London headquarters”.

Clearly, the CBI set policy in London based on British interest, work closely with the UK Government and UK government policy is pushing New Nuclear.

The thing is why is CBI Scotland also pushing the same line?

It makes no sense. There is no business case and there is no concrete Energy security risk in Scotland.  However it does make some sense that Scotland could align with Anglo British policy and produce additional Nuclear Energy and waste for the Energy poor, Energy unsecure South UK.

Ok, so we export our Nuclear surplus. There is maybe a business case here.  But wait. How does the British energy model for exporting Nuclear energy to the South support Scottish Business or make Scotland wealthier?

I welcome any insight as I cannot see much benefit besides the local job creation.  Even for job creation it, at least, needs to be compared to alternative sources and investments of the same scale.

Overall, I am deeply concerned about CBI Scotland no matter their policy.  I cannot see how a London centric Business lobby can do anything but push South UK interests in my country and therefore harm it as a result over time

Where Nuclear power is concerned, the potential for harm this body can do far outweighs any supposed benefits to economic growth.