By a Newsnet reporter
A former United Kingdom Ambassador has reveled how Tony Blair’s Labour Government secretly connived with Whitehall officials in order to transfer a huge area of Scottish Territorial waters – containing oil fields – into English ownership.
Craig Murray, who is the UK’s former Ambassador to Uzbekistan, has explained how in 1999 the then Labour Government secretly reclassified 6000 square miles of Scottish sea as English waters.
In a newly released video, Mr Murray has revealed that on the eve of the opening of the new Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, the Labour Government and Whitehall officials used a little known procedure in order to annex a huge chunk of the Scottish North Sea.
The redrawing of the maritime border meant several Scottish oil fields, including the Argyll field and six others, were now officially designated English. The move meant that oil and gas revenue, which would have previously been considered Scottish was deemed to have been generated south of the border.
The boundary shift was established by an order carried out at Westminster under the Scottish Adjacent Boundaries Order (1999). The order was passed by the House of Lords and the Committee on Delegated Legislation on March 23, but – crucially – was not openly debated in the Commons.
However mystery surrounds the reasons for the boundary shift with the UK Government refusing to answer a Freedom of Information request as “it would not be in the public interest”.
Mr Murray claims the move was an attempt at undermining support for Scottish independence by reducing the amount of oil and gas that would be attributed to Scottish waters.
Condemning the move, he said: “To do this, secretly, without discussion in either parliament the night before devolution came into force is evidence of bad faith.”
He added: “That the stealing of scottish waters was done by Tony Blair and Donald Dewar … just goes to show that you cannot ever believe that the Labour party has Scotland’s interests at heart.”
The loss of territorial waters to Scotland has received almost no coverage in the Scottish media, despite having been exposed over a decade ago. However with the independence referendum now finely balanced, and with the internet playing an increasing role in informing the electorate, Labour’s secret annexation may yet play an unexpected role in the historic ballot to be held on September 18th.