- Scottish Parliament Scope of Power
The scotland Parliament was established in 1999 and has the power to legislate on a range of issues known as devolved matters.
But the Scottish Parliament has not been very efficient and has only passed the laws of Community Care and Health 2002, Freedom of Information 2002, Smoking, Health and Social Care 2005, Disabled Persons’ Parking Places 2009, and Marriage and Civil Partnership 2014 during the period from 2002 to 2014.
- Scotland’s Economic Resources
Scotland’s economic potential, such as fishing, renewable energy, agriculture and animal husbandry, tourism, and the oil and gas industry are being studied separately by experts as ongoing projects in Scotland.
The Scottish fishing industry, while contributing less than 1% to the Scottish GDP, is still very important in many of its more remote regional economies, such as North East Scotland, and the Highlands and Islands (H&I), where it directly contributes to nearly 10% of GDP and up to 9% of regional employment .
When the associated processing industry (also regionally concentrated) and multiplier effects relating to backward-linking intermediary activities are taken into consideration, the fishing industry is a major source of employment and wealth in these regions, which have relatively few alternative employment opportunities.
Crofting is a tradition practised in Scotland as a small-scale food production in common working communities, or “townships”. Individual crofts are usually established on 2–5 hectares (5–12 1⁄2 acres) of in-bye for better quality forage, arable and vegetable production. Each township manages poorer-quality hill ground as common grazing for cattle and sheep.
Crofting helped agriculture and dairy farming to grow in the disadvantaged areas of Scotland in bad weather. There were 770,000 hectares under crofting tenure in 2014-15, roughly 25% of the agricultural land area in the Crofting Counties. Crofters held around 20% of all beef cattle (120,000 head) and 45% of breeding ewes (1.5 million sheep). Crofting is regulated by the Crofting Commission.
- International Tourism
Tourism contributes significantly to the Scottish economy and is vital to the economic performance and employment in towns, cities, regions and rural communities across the length and breadth of Scotland. An estimated 15.5 million visitors were attracted to Scotland in 2018, with three and a half million people coming from overseas.
Total spending by tourists reached nearly £5 billion in 2018, and the value of the sector to the wider economy is estimated to be £10.5 billion.
Tourism expenditure as a whole reached £4.9 billion, with UK visitors spending £2.7 billion, while international visitors spent £2.2 billion. Despite being 5% down from 2017, overnight tourism expenditure was the third highest since 2011 and just £2 million less than in second best 2015.
- Renewable Energy
When it comes to renewable energy resources, the jewel in Scotland’s crown would arguably be wind power, and the ferocious winds that sweep over the glens and braes of the highlands make the Scottish countryside an ideal haven for wind turbines.
Many studies have been conducted in this area and aquamarine power, together with SSE Renewables, will deploy Aquamarine’s Oyster hydro-electric wave power devices off the coast of Orkney in 2013. The wave power devices will be deployed in small clusters off mainland Orkney running from Costa Head in the north to Neban Point in the southwest. The proposed wave farm is expected to have an installed capacity of 200 MW.
Martin McAdam, of Aquamarine, says: “The Crown Estate’s leasing round is a significant milestone for the marine energy sector and is a key step towards the industry’s commercialisation, enabling it to meet its full potential to deliver clean sustainable power as well as highly skilled long-term employment.
However, the investment in this segment was made by the United Kingdom, which has now been withdrawn due to Scotland’s desire to secede in recent years.
- Oil and Gas
Brent North Sea oil reserves are in Scottish waters. Geologists estimate the North Sea’s proven reserves at 125,000,000 tonnes and its total oil resources at 4.075 million tonnes. Britain’s annual consumption is 70 million tonnes. Large oil fields were discovered in the 1960s following attempts to acquire natural gas fields. Since 1962, Britain has been extracting and transporting oil from an area measuring 100,000 square miles in the North Sea.
- Scottish Oil and Gas Industry
Since all estimates are currently based on UK regional tables and statistics, it is not possible to consider statistics on oil profits for Scotland. So, by using satellite statistics and ship transport, the Scottish government has been able to reach unofficial statistics on Scottish oil and gas from 1998 to 2016.
In 2014, the latest balanced year, exports of oil and gas stood at £20.3 billion. Of this, £9.6 billion was sent to the rest of the world, and £10.7 billion to the rest of the UK. The energy commodity balance demonstrates that the majority of oil and gas extracted in Scotland is exported. Some exports to RUK will be subsequently re-exported to the rest of the world. The value of exports has decreased in recent years due to the lower oil and gas prices experienced since 2014.
Display estimates of exports between 1998 and 2016 are derived from HMRC Regional Trade Statistics and the Scottish Government oil and gas commodity balances.
2.2.5. UK Profits from Scottish Gas and Oil
Research by the University of Aberdeen suggests that since 1980-81, approximately 90% of North Sea production occurred in Scottish waters, raising approximately £242 billion in tax revenue for the Exchequer (at 2010-11 prices).
The principal central government extractive revenues currently earmarked for specific UK programmes or geographic regions involve the allocation of a population-based share of income from seaward petroleum licenses to the Northern Ireland Government, as required by section 2 of the Miscellaneous Financial Provisions Act 1968.
Although Scotland is larger than England, it is sparsely populated and encourages new immigrants to settle in Scotland; the UK Parliament is directly involved in immigration to Scotland. Immigrants who have arrived in Scotland for work and advancement are therefore reluctant to secede from the UK, as it is responsible for the equipment, employment and transportation of Scottish oil and gas. It has also invested in renewable energies, and if Scotland secedes from the UK, it will lead to problems such as unemployment and inflation. Of course, this may be resolved over the next two generations.