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Energy

Scotland’s Offshore Oil and Gas

How extensive are Scotland’s oil and gas reserves?

Up to 24 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves remain under the North Sea. Recent research by Professor Alex Kemp of the University of Aberdeen has suggested that around 98.8 per cent of North Sea oil production and around 60 per cent of gas production in the 30 years from 2011 will come from Scotland’s geographical share of the current UK Continental Shelf.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Is it Scotland’s oil and gas?

The vast majority of oil and gas in the UK comes from the Scottish Continental Shelf and will be in Scotland after independence. Analysis by academics at Aberdeen University tells us that in excess of 90 per cent of the oil and gas revenues are from fields in Scottish waters (based on well-established principles of international law).

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How valuable are the expected tax revenues from our oil and gas production?

The latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland report estimates that oil and gas production in the Scottish portion of the UK continental shelf generated £10.6 billion in tax revenues during 2011/12. This is equal to 94 per cent of the UK’s total tax revenues from oil and gas production. Production in Scottish waters could generate approximately £48 billion in tax revenue between 2012/13 and 2017/18 based on industry estimates of production and an average cash price of approximately 113 dollars per barrel.

Oil and gas production is expected to rise to two million boe (barrels of oil equivalent) per day towards the end of the decade as a result of the current record levels of capital investment. This will see the industry continue to make a substantial contribution to tax revenues for decades to come.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Are oil companies still investing in the North Sea?

North Sea operators have £100 billion of capital investment within their current business plans.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What about the impacts of global recession?

The market for oil and gas is not immune to global recessionary factors. Between 2008/09 and 2009/10, for example, North Sea tax revenues fell from £12.9 billion to £6.5 billion. However, despite this fall, Scotland continued to have a smaller fiscal deficit, as a share of GDP, than the UK as a whole. Even in years when oil revenues fell to as low as £1 billion, Scotland still generated more tax revenue per head than the average for the UK.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will an independent Scotland maximise the benefits of our oil and gas reserves?

Careful management of Scotland’s oil and gas reserves will be a key priority for an independent Scotland. Unlike successive Westminster governments, the Scottish Government recognises that an independent Scotland should provide industry with the necessary fiscal and regulatory stability and predictability for it to innovate and thrive in a globally competitive environment. We will consider how the existing fiscal regime can be enhanced to maximise oil and gas recovery, and to encourage development in the most technically challenging oil and gas fields.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will an independent Scotland establish an oil fund to safeguard the benefits of our oil and gas production?

Yes, that is the intention of the current Scottish Government. Since the 1970s, approximately £300 billion in tax receipts (in today’s prices) has gone directly to the Westminster Exchequer, with none of it being saved for the future. We cannot repeat this mistake in the future.

The Scottish Government proposes that an independent Scotland will establish a Scottish Energy Fund which will be both a stabilisation fund and long-term investment fund into which a portion of tax revenues will be invested when fiscal conditions allow. Stabilisation funds and sovereign wealth funds are common among oil and gas producing countries, with the UK being a notable exception.

Norway provides a good example of how a country can effectively manage its oil and gas revenues. It established its oil fund in 1990, although the first net investment was modest and was not made until 1996. The fund is now the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, worth around £470 billion. It currently owns, on average, 2.5 per cent of every listed company in Europe, and 1.2 per cent of the world’s listed companies. These investments have achieved average annual returns of 5.9 per cent over the last five years.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Is continued oil and gas production consistent with Scotland’s commitments on climate change?

Yes. In Scotland, we will need a mixed energy portfolio, including hydrocarbons, to provide secure and affordable heat and electricity for decades to come. Scotland has a target of delivering the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand and 11 per cent of non-electrical heat demand from renewables by 2020. As we increase our use of renewable energy sources, we also have a duty to minimise carbon emissions in line with our world-leading climate change targets.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will the recommendations from the Wood Review be taken forward in an independent Scotland?

The Scottish Government welcomes the interim report produced by Sir Ian Wood in his review, Maximisation of Recovery in the UKCS. The report estimates that the prize from increased and effective collaboration could be an additional three to four billion barrels of oil equivalent over 20 years, which could be worth £200 billion. By addressing the challenges facing the industry and harnessing the opportunities, enormous benefits can be reaped by the industry and in tax revenues. This was recognised by the Scottish Government in our Oil and Gas Strategy published in May 2012, and in our paper Maximising the return from Oil and Gas in an Independent Scotland published in July 2013.

We particularly welcome the proposal to create a new regulator. This will provide the necessary skills, knowledge and authority to ensure that we maximise the potential of the wealth of resources remaining. The Expert Commission appointed by the Scottish Government will consider Sir Ian’s recommendations as part of its work and will report in spring 2014.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Decommissioning

How will the decommissioning costs of oil and gas platforms and other infrastructure in the North Sea be met in an independent Scotland?

Providing a stable environment for companies to plan decommissioning is critical to delivering a dynamic and forwardlooking offshore oil and gas industry. At present, North Sea operators are able to claim tax relief against the cost of decommissioning offshore facilities at the point when the decommissioning occurs.

The Scottish Government plans that decommissioning tax relief in an independent Scotland will be provided in the manner and at the rate currently provided through the current North Sea fiscal regime. This will provide long-term certainty for the industry.

Successive Westminster governments have accrued £300 billion in tax receipts (in today’s prices) from North Sea oil and gas production. This Scottish Government intends that an independent Scotland will seek a commensurate contribution to the cost of decommissioning relief from the rest of the UK. This will be the subject of negotiation between the two governments, but the outcome of the negotiations will have no impact on the value of relief received by operators.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Alternative Fuels

Will an independent Scotland pursue alternative fuel sources and supply, such as ‘fracking’ and shale gas exploration?

The development of unconventional hydrocarbon resources is at an early stage in Scotland. Decisions on alternative fuel sources, or the appropriate energy mix, will be for future Scottish governments.

Proposals would be considered through the normal planning process and the appropriate regulatory regimes, including SEPA’s updated guidance on the regulation of shale gas and coalbed methane published in December 2012.

Scottish Ministers have also recently announced a strengthening of Scottish Planning Policy in regard to unconventional gas.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will there be nuclear power generation in an independent Scotland?

The current Scottish Government is opposed to the building of any new nuclear power stations in Scotland and will phase out existing stations in Scotland over time.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Offshore Health and Safety

What will the offshore health and safety regime be in an independent Scotland

The offshore health and safety issues relating to the UK Continental Shelf are currently the responsibility of the UK Health and Safety Executive. This Scottish Government plans that a comparable new body will be established to perform this function in an independent Scotland. This body will maintain world-leading offshore health and safety standards as currently administered.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Oil and Gas Emissions

Will an independent Scotland be able to meet statutory climate change targets?

This Government recognises that, as an independent nation, Scotland will take responsibility for emissions from the offshore oil and gas sector within its waters. This will require primary legislation to allow the present climate change targets to reflect these additional emissions.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will carbon capture and storage be developed in an independent Scotland?

Decisions on carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be for future governments in an independent Scotland. However, it is the current Scottish Government’s view that, alongside a substantial further growth in renewable energy, it is likely there will be a need to maintain and build new power stations run on traditional fossil fuels. The scheduled closure of existing power plants, and the construction of a minimum of 2.5 GW of new or replacement efficient fossil fuel electricity generation plants progressively fitted with CCS, will satisfy security of supply concerns and, together with renewable energy, deliver large amounts of electricity exports.

Our aim is for thermal generation in the future to be decarbonised over time through increased application of carbon capture and storage. Carbon capture and storage has the potential to substantially reduce emissions from fossil fuel power stations and will be a vital element of a decarbonised power sector.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Energy Market

Will there continue to be a single GB market for energy and gas?

Achieving security of supply for Scottish consumers will be the central priority for this Government in an independent Scotland. Provided this is not jeopardised, Scotland will continue to participate in the GB-wide market for electricity and gas, reflecting the integrated transmission networks between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

It will be in the interests of both countries for there to be an integrated market across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Scotland’s transmission network is deeply interconnected with the rest of Great Britain, and Scotland will continue to export its energy to the rest of the UK. Retaining the GB energy market after independence brings the benefits of energy security to customers and businesses north and south of the border.

A single transmission operator, National Grid, can continue to balance supply and demand throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK.

This Government proposes that an independent Scotland will seek a new energy partnership with Westminster to steer energy policy jointly and to ensure proper governance of the integrated market.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Energy Prices for Consumers

What effect will independence have on energy prices?

The powers of independence will allow energy policy to be designed to protect the interests of consumers and make sure people are treated transparently and fairly. Appropriate information on energy tariffs will help customers decide which company to go with, and help make prices competitive.

Different parties will put forward proposals on energy prices and other issues and it will be for the people of Scotland to decide the approach they want in future elections. The current Scottish Government proposes the transfer of responsibility for the Energy Company Obligation and the Warm Homes Discount from energy companies to the Scottish Government, meeting the costs from central government budgets. By passing on these cost reductions to their consumers, energy companies would reduce customer bills by around five per cent or approximately £70 per year.

The current Scottish Government will task the combined economic regulator with ensuring an open and competitive energy market, which protects the interests of Scottish consumers while ensuring a fair return on investment for energy companies. The energy arm of the Scottish Regulator could, in principle, be based at the Scottish offices of Ofgem.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will independence help to address fuel poverty?

Yes. The current UK regulatory model has done little to increase households’ ability to access low cost ‘dual fuel’ tariffs, where gas and electricity are provided by the same supplier. Around nine per cent of households in Scotland are without mains gas and 43 per cent of these households live in fuel poverty.

Under the limited powers currently available to it, the current Scottish Government is doing everything possible to meet the statutory target to eradicate fuel poverty as far as is reasonably practicable by 2016. With independence, and if in power following the 2016 election, we will transfer responsibility for the Energy Company Obligation and the Warm Homes Discount from energy companies to the Scottish Government, meeting the costs from central government budgets. By passing on these cost reductions to their consumers, energy companies would be required to reduce bills by around five per cent or approximately £70 per year.

We are also committed to retaining the statutory target. Our approach is that, following independence, there should be a commitment to continue the overall levels of funding available to tackle fuel poverty – currently at least £200 million a year.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Low Carbon Energy

Will an independent Scotland maintain current levels of support for renewable energy?

The current Scottish Government’s policy is that it should. Spare generating capacity throughout the UK is now at its lowest level for a generation and Ofgem forecasts it will contract even further. Without Scottish renewable energy supplies, there would already be a shortage in capacity.

Retention of the single GB-wide energy market will bring benefits of energy security to customers and businesses both north and south of the border. While detailed discussions between all parties will be necessary, we believe that it is in the interests of all that the central aspects of support for low carbon generation, as established and planned under Electricity Market Reform, should remain.

An integrated and single energy market involves customers throughout GB paying on an equitable basis for a wide range of benefits, including stable prices, security of supply and access to renewable generation. Scottish renewable production is among the most cost-effective in the UK and offers clear advantages to the rest of the UK in meeting its EU obligations, as is reflected by National Grid’s decision to invest to upgrade transmission connections between Scotland and England.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will the transmission charging regime be in an independent Scotland?

Through the Scottish regulator, an independent Scotland would seek improvements to the transmission charging methodology. The Scottish Government has long argued for an approach to transmission charging which delivers a level playing field for Scottish renewable and thermal generators, and which supports development in areas of the highest renewables resource and on Scotland’s islands. In addition to enhancing Scotland’s security of supply, a fairer charging regime will support the growth of renewable generation, recognising that such capacity needs to be developed where the resource is located.

In an independent Scotland, this Government will seek to ensure that future charging regimes take our energy resources and security fully into account in a way which meets the needs of our island regions and connections.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

The Energy Bill is currently making its way through the UK Parliament. Will an independent Scotland continue with this regime?

The current Scottish Government proposes that Scotland should continue to participate in an integrated market for electricity, under the terms of the Energy Bill – provided that Scottish security of supply is safeguarded.

However, as a substantial supplier to the rest of the UK, an independent Scotland will require a far greater degree of oversight of the market arrangements. Hence, the specifics of a continued GB-wide market will require detailed discussion between all parties. Through the planned Energy Partnership with Westminster, this Scottish Government will ensure that Scottish interests are protected.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will independence impact on Scotland’s targets for decarbonised electricity generation in Scotland?

These targets will remain in place on independence, and independence will give Scotland the full range of powers to develop renewable energy.

The current Scottish Government has set a target for the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand to be met by renewables by 2020, and a 2030 electricity decarbonisation target to achieve a carbon intensity of 50g CO2/kWh of electricity generation in Scotland.

Good progress is being made towards this, with renewable generation in Scotland hitting a record high of 36.3 per cent of gross consumption in 2011, well above our 31 per cent interim target for that year. Provisional figures for 2012 show a further increase to almost 39 per cent of gross consumption. Our 2030 electricity decarbonisation target could actually be hit a little earlier, perhaps closer to 2027.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will the EU’s renewable energy targets be apportioned when Scotland becomes an independent member state?

It will be for the EU to determine how the targets are split, but Scotland has a target of delivering the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand and 11 per cent of non-electrical heat demand from renewables by 2020 – significantly more ambitious than the EU target.

The current Scottish Government has also committed to working with Westminster to ensure that the rest of the UK also meets its target obligations at the least cost. That will involve deploying Scottish renewable energy into the GB grid. Indeed the EU Renewable Energy Directive highlights the value of ‘co-operation mechanisms’ between member states.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) operate in an independent Scotland?

The current Scottish Government intends to continue operating the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) following independence. The RHI was introduced by Westminster in 2011 to incentivise the use of heat produced from renewable non-fossil fuel sources, such as wood fuel or heat pumps.

The RHI is key to an independent Scotland meeting the Scottish target of 11 per cent of heat demand from renewables by 2020, and will play a significant role in decarbonising the heat sector by 2050, with significant progress being made by 2030. The Scottish Government has developed a range of supporting actions to increase deployment of renewable heat technologies in Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will the Green Deal continue in an independent Scotland?

The current Scottish Government proposes that schemes that are in place immediately before independence, such as this, will be inherited by an independent Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Environment and Climate Change

Environment

What priority will be given to protecting the environment in an independent Scotland?

Scotland’s natural environment is important in many ways – from supporting the economy to helping to improve our health.

World-leading climate change legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2009 shows that, when we have the powers, we take a more progressive approach to the protection of the environment. Scotland has had a bigger cumulative fall in emissions (29.6 per cent) than any of the EU-15 since 1990; higher than the average emissions reduction across the EU-27, and the highest of the nations in the UK.

With experience of addressing global concerns like climate change, restoring natural habitats, and managing fragile marine areas, we have an important contribution to make internationally. The current Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that an independent Scotland will deliver on its European and international obligations, while continuing to build on its reputation for positive leadership, for example by supporting inclusion of protection of the environment in the proposed written constitution.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Who will pay for the cost of decommissioning civil nuclear sites in an independent Scotland?

This Government’s policy is that in an independent Scotland the decommissioning costs of Scotland’s three non-operational sites (Dounreay, Hunterston A and Chapelcross) will continue to be met from the public purse. The costs of decommissioning Scotland’s other two operational sites (Hunterston B and Torness) will be met by the private operators of those sites.

Following independence, the precise division of assets and liabilities will be subject to detailed negotiation between the Scottish and Westminster Governments, working together constructively in the best interests of the people of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, as set out in the Edinburgh Agreement.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will an independent Scotland manage its nuclear waste?

An independent Scotland will ensure that the nuclear legacy inherited from the UK is managed safely and effectively. This Scottish Government is committed to achieving that through a robust regulatory regime and effective long-term management of the decommissioning sites.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Met Office

What will happen to Met Office services in an independent Scotland?

The Met Office is Scotland’s weather forecasting service. Scotland benefits from these weather and climate services, which improve the resilience and effectiveness of public services and communities, helping to save lives, protect property and support the national economy. The Scottish Government will seek agreement with Westminster to maintain the provision of these services on independence. The Scottish Government will make an appropriate financial contribution for the use of these services.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities

What will happen to the Crown Estate in an independent Scotland?

The Crown Estate is currently administered by a UK body, the Crown Estate Commissioners, and the revenues flow to the UK Treasury. In an independent Scotland, the current Scottish Government plans that the assets of the Crown Estate better support local economic development and provide wider community benefit in Scotland. The current Scottish Government proposes to review the management of the Crown Estate and will consult on arrangements to enhance local control of assets including greater autonomy for the islands and ownership of the foreshore and local harbours. We plan to introduce community benefit associated with Scotland’s offshore renewable resource. This will deliver a direct benefit for communities across Scotland of at least half of the seabed leasing revenues and more in the islands.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will independence affect the support that Scottish farmers receive under Europe’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP)?

As part of the UK, Scotland’s farmers receive the third lowest direct payment per hectare in the European Union. Independent member states have benefitted from the European Union’s principle that no member state should receive less than the minimum EU average payment rate of €196 per hectare. Had Scotland been an independent member state when the latest CAP round was agreed, this principle would have meant gaining an additional €1 billion of support between 2014 and 2020.

The following table shows how Scotland compares with EU member states before and after the recent CAP negotiations.

 

Table 1: Annual CAP Pillar 1 - Direct Payments per hectare - existing legislation and allocation for 2019.

Member State

Direct Payments
(Existing Legislation)
Per Hectare

2019 Direct Payments
Per Hectare

Malta €696 €640
Netherlands €457 €403
Belgium €435 €386
Italy €404 €363
Greece €384 €350
Cyprus €372 €338
Denmark €363 €332
Slovenia €325 €302
Germany €319 €298
France €296 €281
Luxembourg €275 €269
Ireland €271 €261
Austria €262 €253
Hungary €260 €251
Czech Republic €257 €249
Spain €229 €233
Finland €237 €230
Sweden €235 €229
Bulgaria €233 €228
United Kingdom €229 €225
Poland €215 €216
Slovakia €206 €210
Portugal €194 €205
Estonia €117 €196
Latvia €95 €196
Lithuania €144 €196
Romania €183 €196
Scotland €130 €128

 

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will independence affect support for rural development that businesses and communities receive through the CAP?

As part of the UK, Scotland currently receives the lowest level of rural development funding in Europe. This is because the Westminster Government does not prioritise this support in its negotiations with Europe.

With independence, Scotland will be able to negotiate for fairer allocations for rural development – similar to that achieved by many other member states. For example, despite Ireland having around 25 per cent of the agricultural land of the UK, it has successfully managed to negotiate an allocation of almost €2 billion for rural development – almost 85 per cent of the total allocation for the UK. Finland offers another example, having negotiated a €600 million uplift. This demonstrates what sovereign countries, similar in size to Scotland, can achieve within EU negotiations when they are able to reflect their own needs and priorities.

Independence will ensure that Scotland enters into the next set of CAP negotiations on an even footing with the rest of the members of the EU. The following table shows how Scotland compares with EU member states on rural development (CAP Pillar 2) payments before and after the recent CAP negotiations.

 

Table 2: Annual CAP Pillar 2 - payments for 2007/2013 and for 2014/2020

Member State

Average 2007/13 Rural
Development Funding
Per Hectare of Utilised
Agricultural Area Per
Annum

Average 2014/20 Rural
Development Funding
Per Hectare of Utilised
Agricultural Area Per
Annum

Malta €969 €1,236
Croatia - €249
Slovenia €271 €248
Austria €182 €178
Cyprus €205 €165
Greece €151 €163
Portugal €160 €160
Finland €134 €148
Slovakia €148 €141
Italy €100 €116
Luxembourg €103 €109
Estonia €109 €109
Poland €131 €107
Hungary €103 €92
Czech Republic €116 €88
Lithuania €91 €83
Sweden €91 €81
Romania €82 €81
Latvia €83 €77
EU 27/28 Average €76 €76
Germany €78 €70
Ireland €78 €69
Bulgaria €75 €66
Belgium €51 €58
Spain €48 €49
France €37 €48
Netherlands €45 €46
Denmark €31 €34
United Kingdom €20 €21
Scotland €11 €12

 

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What will happen to CAP payments to farmers in an independent Scotland?

With independence, farmers and crofters will continue to receive CAP payments – the budget is already set until 2020. But, crucially, with independence we will also have a direct voice in the negotiations on the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will the transition to independence disrupt CAP payments to farmers?

No. The administration of payments for the CAP is already conducted by the Scottish Government. As the European Commission pays CAP payments in arrears, the Scottish Government plans that an independent Scotland will underwrite payments to farmers, as Westminster does today, ensuring a smooth transition for Scottish farmers.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will an independent Scotland’s interests be prioritised at the Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries?

Independence will give Scotland its own voice in Europe, participating at every level in the EU policy process and ensuring the Scottish Government is able to promote and protect Scotland’s national interests in EU affairs. Fishing and agriculture are important sectors of the Scottish economy and will be priority areas for negotiation in the EU.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will Scotland’s fishing quotas be determined following independence?

Following a vote for independence, the Scottish Government will enter into negotiations with the rest of the UK and with the EU institutions to fully define our fishing rights and other key issues. At present, Scotland’s fishing opportunities are provided for in a concordat among the UK nations, which gives Scotland a share of UK quotas. It will be in the interests of both Scotland and the rest of the UK to agree an appropriate and fair set of final allocations so that the normal fishing practices of each nation can continue unaffected.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will the management of Scotland’s quotas be any different in an independent Scotland?

Independence will stop Scottish-held quotas being permanently transferred out of Scotland to other parts of the UK. This is because EU rules do not allow permanent transfers of this nature from one member state to another. An independent Scotland will therefore be able to retain its quotas for the benefit of its own fishermen.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will Scottish fishing fleets still be able to declare their catch in England?

Yes. Fishing vessels often land their catch in different countries and independence will make no difference to this.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will vessels from other EU Member States, including the rest of the UK, still be able to fish in Scottish waters and vice versa?

Beyond 12 nautical miles, the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy provides any member state’s vessels with access to all member states’ waters. However they can only fish in waters where they have fishing opportunities.

Within 12 nautical miles, we would expect to agree with other member states that vessels from other member states (including the rest of the UK) with historic fishing rights should be able to continue fishing in Scottish waters, and vice versa.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will independence affect Scotland’s relationship with the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)?

As an independent member state, Scotland will be negotiating as one of the foremost and most respected fishing nations in Europe. This status will give Scotland the opportunity to take a leadership role in driving reforms to the CFP and in negotiating annual fishing opportunities within the framework of the CFP. The government of an independent Scotland will be able to negotiate unequivocally for Scottish priorities without having to dilute these in order to suit wider UK objectives.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

What impact will independence have on the ability of Scottish food and drink producers to sell their produce to a UK market?

The same opportunities will exist before and after independence. Consumers elsewhere in the UK will continue to be attracted by the world-class quality of Scottish produce. By sharing Sterling with the rest of the UK, trade will continue to be underpinned by a common currency. Scotland’s status as an independent member of the European Union will ensure free movement of goods, people and services and avoid any barriers to trade with the rest of the UK or European markets.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.