Scotland’s former justice secretary staged a protest outside UK Government offices claiming the country is being robbed of natural resources, flanked by a “highway woman” called Hazel.
Kenny MacAskill, now an Alba MP, was filmed claiming energy from a colossal windfarm off the coast of Fife will be “siphoned” off to England.
“The UK is robbing us blind, robbing our offshore wind as they robbed us of our oil and it has got to stop,” he says while drawing attention to the woman in a black hat and highway robber-style face mask by his side.
Mr MacAskill, who used to be in the Scottish Government, said it is an “absurdity” and a “perversity”, adding many Scots will struggle to pay their fuel bills over the winter.
‘The UK is robbing us blind’
Speaking outside the UK Government offices in Edinburgh, Mr Macsakill, who did not dress in a “highway robber” outfit, said: “It is not going to provide any energy for Scotland, provide any revenue for Scotland, and it is not going to provide any jobs in Scotland.
Today at UK govt HQ in Edin I exposed the scandal of the Great Berwick Bank Robbery. The bounty off our shores should be a resource of affordable energy for Scots. Scandalous that 40% of it is being piped south to Northumberland – more here 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/WiwKZmrNDc
— Kenny MacAskill MP (@eastlothianmp) August 3, 2022
“Scotland’s oil resources were taken south and we have been the losers.
“Now our offshore energy is going south and again we are the losers.”
What is the Berwick Bank project?
The Berwick Bank development is due to be built in the North Sea off the coast of Fife and Mr MacAskill’s East Lothian constituency.
Despite the original plans being scaled back by 10%, the windfarm will generate enough energy to power all of Scotland twice over.
Because it will produce so much surplus power, Mr Macaskill estimates around 40% of the energy generated will be taken out of Scotland directly to England.
He added the SNP needs to “get a backbone” and take control of Scotland’s wind energy to stop the UK “robbing” it all.
Mr Macaskill, who last month was thrown out of the House of Commons for staging a pro-independence protest, added the situation is even more scandalous because around half of Scots will face fuel poverty over the winter.
His comments were largely ignored by the majority of other political parties, with one Conservative source branding him a “fringe nationalist”.
The UK Government also declined to comment on Mr Macaskill’s accusations, despite the demonstration taking place outside their offices.
Scottish Labour energy spokesman Colin Smyth said “nationalists” are using an energy crisis to stoke grievance.
“Alex Salmond’s promise to make Scotland the Saudi Arabia of renewables is in tatters, with wind turbines being made abroad and our seabeds being sold off on the cheap,” he said,
“We need a real plan to tackle the cost of living crisis and fulfil Scotland’s potential as a world-leader in renewables – not petty division and finger pointing.”