Oil Leak 213 A UK parliament question

While searching through Hansard, we came across the QA from March this year that we were not previously aware of – if there is a new application, the Scottish Government will be fully consulted and a full public consultation will be undertaken – great, although we’d much rather any future application is ditched!


Steven Paterson (Stirling) (SNP)

16. What recent discussions he has had with Ministers of the Scottish Government on the devolution of powers on ship-to-ship transfers. [909589]

  • Neither I nor the Minister responsible for this issue, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Holland and The Deepings (Mr Hayes), has had any contact with the Scottish Government so far about the devolution of ship-to-ship transfers. However, the Minister of State wrote to Scottish Ministers earlier this month, acknowledging that the permitting arrangements for granting oil transfer licences for ship-to-ship transfers needed improvement. Our intention is to review the process around the application and assessment of licences in consultation with the devolved Administrations later this year.

  • I thank the Minister for that positive response. SNP colleagues, the Scottish Government and local communities are unconvinced by the safety of ship-to-ship oil transfers, particularly in the Cromarty firth, which is a European special protection area for bottlenose dolphins. I am pleased that the Minister is prepared to take up the case with Scottish Ministers, and I wonder whether he would consider devolving powers, which I think is appropriate, so that such decisions could be taken in Scotland.

  • So the original application was unsuitable? From the MCA’s comments it would appear it was – that will be the subject of our next series of oil leaks, starting tomorrow!