237 thoughts on “The Stolen Seas

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  • EphemeralDeception

    This is only part of the picture.
    The UK government signed a framework agreement with Norway after the border shift (though it had been in planning for a long time) for cooperation in cross border petroleum activities and the construction of pipelines from Norway to supply the UK. This also gave the operators and pipline owners a guranteed ROI (http://www.shepwedd.co.uk/knowledge/uknorway-framework-agreement-new-era-north-sea-co-operation http://www.og.dti.gov.uk/upstream/infrastructure/nfa_2005.doc )

    The biggest of these new pipelines, formerly the biggest in the world is called Langeled. It provides 20% of the UKs total gas usage and is piped from the Sleipner field to Easington, mid East England.

    It is worth noting that no business case was made for using Easington over St Fergus which would have allowed a much shorter sea pipeline and then could have followed existing Land routes (At least I am not aware of one except that St. Fergus and pipeline capacity would need to also increase). Secondly there is not the infrastructure in place for Scottish based consumers to use any of this gas from Easington as the network is setup to pump Gas South into England not vice versa.

    The maritime border shift now has the pipeline primarily, fully in newly acquired English territory. I am not sure what the usual charge is for pipelines passing through a third party territory and granting access etc but it would be nice to know and I am sure it aint cheap. From a strategic perspective with the risk of independence it seems to be a good move from London.

    How all this will unravel after a Yes vote is not at all clear but all the aspects of this territory shift needs to readdressed and not bargained away.

  • Ba'al Zevul (For Scotland)

    Radio 4 this morning was delirious with joy that Gordon Brown had been getting down wid da hood in a determined effort to woo wavering Old Labour (hence, socialist) voters back to the paths of righteousness. Unlike Alexander, Gordon has some credibility left in Scotland: he still resonates a little, not least because, like any rabid wolverine or slug turd, he stands favourable comparison with Tony Blair.

    Vague and deniable promises are being made: Brown has, as R4 said ‘pre-empted’ Cameroncleggmiliband in offering greater autonomy to Scotland if it remains in the union. Is he in a position to deliver this? Of course not, and nor would any conceivable future government be prepared to honour such a promise. Brown also invoked the shade of Keir Hardie, and slyly suggested that this would be the kind of autonomy the old revolutionary would have wanted.

    That rumbling sound coming from New Cumnock Cemetery, it is that of Hardie undergoing rapid rotation.

  • fred

    “So you’re saying the timing of the new boundary was just a coincidence?”

    First of all there is no new boundary. There are two boundaries both still in force, one concerned with legal jurisdiction and the other concerned with fishing limits.

    Let Craig Murray self proclaimed expert on maritime boundaries deny that if he can.

    No it wasn’t just coincidence it happened at the same time as devolution because it happened because of devolution, before devolution Scotland wasn’t in charge of their own fishing protection so no boundary was needed.

    The video is a string of outright lies and distortions for the sole purpose of inciting anti-English hatred in Scots. Nationalist tribalist propaganda of the worst kind.

  • nevermind, Scotland will be free

    Murphy’s hysterical laughter, replacing an answer he could not find within him, as well as Gordon Browns armwaving, offering not an iota of substance last night represent the last writhing of a fatally wounded dragon.

    “I’m puzzled by people who see catastrophe coming but aren’t prepared to do anything to try to avert it.”

    Well, Gutter, best ensure that party politicians don’t get their hands on the tillers then, because the work for Independence starts after the vote, many negotiations and loose ends to tie up. So what is there but to be positive? surely the negativity of the NO campaign, if they really have the best for Scottish people in mind, as they proclaim, must stop at the referendum, they could not possibly flick a switch and turn into hostile neighbours now, could they?

    Craig has pointed to moves that have been made under the apprehension to and with foresight of a Scottish Independence movement, why else would they be RE-DRAWN. If they have not been ratified borders, why should they remain so? they must be on the table like so many other issues.

    6% ahaead now, pollsters recon, going towards a resounding positive vote for Independence.
    Will our party politicians who profess to want to please Scottish voters with extra parliamentary powers today, not want to see these after a resounding vote? after all they want our best, don’t they?
    What will english voters think if they see reprisals and Israeli foreign politics be adopted by a snidy Westminster elite, i.e. no negotiations, we try and throw it into the long grass?

    This is the beginning of a serious debate and the snipinmg should stop, but will it? What will the civil service be told to do and what will they come up with themselves? they will have to set a timetable and work through it, lets face it, not a single big mouth politicians will do the hard work, set up contracts, negotiate the toss.

    Radio Norfolk undertook a mornings debate on what it would mean for Lincolnshire, Cornwall, both with Independence movements, or an Independent east Anglia, and what it would mean for us all, what president, ministers etc. a bit of fun micket taking. It was hilarious, but also telling, not a single caller proposed a local sitting cllr. or self/serving politicians to anything, nobody trusts party politics anymore.

    Good.

  • doug scorgie

    All this talk of stolen seas will be merely academic if the Noes have it.

    Daily Telegraph front page:

    “THE QUEEN IS URGED TO INTERVENE”

    “It is extremely close. The Queens intervention could make all the difference”

    And:

    The Duchess of Cambridge rushed out an announcement that she is pregnant again after suffering the same level of morning sickness that left her hospitalised when she was expecting Prince George.

    [Aah poor wee thing]

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    “No it wasn’t just coincidence it happened at the same time as devolution because it happened because of devolution, before devolution Scotland wasn’t in charge of their own fishing protection so no boundary was needed.

    Ahhh, it’s to do with fishing limits, not oil. Thank you for clarifying that.

    There’s still one thing I don’t understand, though. If Westminster wasn’t trying to put one over on the Scotland, why did it happen the day before devolution rather than the day after?

  • DoNNyDarKo

    Fred: You are one of the saddest posters here.I think the fact the Argyll field went from Scotland to England overnight dispells your argument and confirms Craig’s.
    I believe that Craig has been using this as an example of the underhandedness of Westminster,working outside of their own norms to facilitate something without exposure or argument.
    Had this been made public there would have been an outcry.
    I’m sick of hearing that every pro Independence argument is anti-English. It isn’t.This referendum is about Scotland and not England.Even you have a say in this Fred.I hope you are living in Scotland because you like the place and not out of some penance.There are no Gestapo tartans or Brown shirts marching on the streets.There will be Orange Sashes on the streets however.Does that not scare you? I’m beginning to think you work just down the corridor from Habba and don’t croft at all.
    The facts are that Scotland has been consistently lied to.Luckily there are people like Craig with inside knowledge.

  • Johnstone

    Gutter
    Although I agree with you that the oil would be being best left where it is under the sea I do not really follow your argument that big is better, therefore an independent Scotland a bad thing. I more take Schumachers view that Small is Beautiful. Doesn’t the case of the USA undermine your argument that large counties can better counteract the forces of globalism..aren’t they more or less the engine that drives that particular force? Only asking

    There are in Scotland at least 2 community initiatives born out land reform, Eigg and Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape that give a tiny wee glimmer of hope that the capitalist social model could (were there the will) be replaced but no such possibility in England where the forces that drive elitism are even stronger and so no land reform, which is the key to social change, on the horizon

  • fred

    “There’s still one thing I don’t understand, though. If Westminster wasn’t trying to put one over on the Scotland, why did it happen the day before devolution rather than the day after?”

    It didn’t.

    Devolution didn’t happen all at once, the various sections of the The Scotland Act 1998 came into force at different times between 25th January 1999 and 20th May 1999.

    The Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999 came into force on the 1st of July 1999.

  • fred

    “!Fred: You are one of the saddest posters here.I think the fact the Argyll field went from Scotland to England overnight dispells your argument and confirms Craig’s.”

    I might be sad but I aint fucking stupid. There is no Argyll field it ran out of oil and was abandoned in 1992. They plugged all the wells. Didn’t Craig tell you that on his video? Wonder why not.

    Were you talking about the Ardmore field?

  • Alex

    Interesting video, not very convincing though. Should Scotland become independent, an arbitrary straight east-west line is hardly something that even self-proclaimed No. 1 expert Craig Murray could negotiate.
    I wonder if the 1987 and 1999 boundaries would even be relevant in any way since they were never international in the first place.
    Plus ending the video with “You can trust him” is almost comical.

  • Michael Stephenson

    Craig, what did you make of your mate John Sweeney’s panorama agitprop last night?

    Interviewees were renowned carpet bagger Mikhail Khodorkovsky who’d sell his own grandmother to a Texan oil baron for the right price, and the man who is the prime suspect for poisoning Viktor Yuschenko the former Ukrainian PM, Gleb Pavlovsky. For balance they probably should have asked what Andrei Lugovoi made of the whole situation, or you know, anyone else who might not have a visceral hatred and axe to grind with Putin.

    I don’t understand how anyone can take this bull shit seriously, how anyone can think that this isn’t state propaganda showing the foreign offices take on events and offering no alternative point of view, The only counter point of view given air time was the ridiculous conspiracy theory that MH17 was a Russian false flag gone wrong, false flag theories are always such a joke unless they are about Russia apparently, when they become inherently credible.

  • Phil

    Alex
    “Plus ending the video with “You can trust him” is almost comical.”

    Yes made me laugh too. It completely undermines the video. Such overt claims to morality are normally the reserve of scoundrels.

  • Luke

    “Most people assume that [the England Scotland maritime boundary] goes out due East…”

    I can assure you that no one in England assumes that. And any English politician who voted an independent Scotland 1 square metre more oil rights than is absolutely necessary would lose their seat at the next election.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    “Devolution didn’t happen all at once, the various sections of the The Scotland Act 1998 came into force at different times between 25th January 1999 and 20th May 1999.

    The Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999 came into force on the 1st of July 1999.”

    Oh Fred, you’re up to your old tricks again.
    The order came into force on 1st July 1999, but it was created and signed off on 13 April 1999.
    http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2011/06/14/shock-of-the-century/

    Furthermore, discussion in Parliament between the date of creation and coming into force makes it clear that there was discontent even then that the border had been created secretly, and specific reference is made to the fact that the new border is irrelevant to fishing territorial matters.
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/sp/?id=2000-04-26.9.0

    In that debate, Richard Lochhead of the SNP said:

    “One could not find a better authority on these matters than Professor James Crawford of Cambridge University, who referred to the fishing boundary in a lecture on international law that he gave at Edinburgh University. He said that the boundary that was established by the Westminster Government was “untenable”. Just as the minister cannot name a fisherman in Scotland who supports the new boundary, he cannot name any UK or international authority—outwith the civil service—that supports the Government’s fishing boundary.”

    He later addressed the legal implications of the new border:

    “The Government’s last line of defence of Westminster’s decision to change the Scottish fishing boundary is to say that we should not worry, because the line is based on international conventions; the Government knows what it is doing because it gave a lot of thought to the location of the line and took advice on the international conventions.

    I want to demolish that last line of defence. I am not a legal expert, nor, I suspect, are the minister or his colleagues. Therefore, I listen to those who have such expertise. The minister will know that the SNP commissioned an independent legal opinion on the boundary from Dr Iain Scobbie of Glasgow University, who is internationally renowned on these matters. He concluded:

    “It is clear that the position set out by the Government in relation to the Scottish Adjacent Waters Order is not in accordance with . . . international law and practice. The claim that the delimitation employed in this Order reflects ‘the normal international convention’ simply cannot be sustained.””

  • Ba'al Zevul (For Scotland)

    There is no Argyll field it ran out of oil and was abandoned in 1992. They plugged all the wells. Didn’t Craig tell you that on his video? Wonder why not.

    Were you talking about the Ardmore field?

    Since they’re the same thing (also Alma), probably.

    The factors that closed it were a little more complicated than ‘ran out of oil’. Simplified synopsis: There’s enough oil left to be decidedly interesting, but the reservoir needs pressurising to recover it. With the rise in oil prices, this is now economically feasible, and currently under way:

    http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/alma-ardmore-field-development/

    The existing boundary, incidentally, has no standing in international law. This piece suggests that the devil Scotland knows might be better than the other one, though.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-legal-warning-over-north-sea-1-3105828

  • MJ

    Here’s a hypothetical question I find quite interesting: if there was an overall Yes vote but the border counties returned a clear No vote and wanted to stay in the UK, what would happen?

    Similarities with Ukraine only go so far because Scotland (perhaps that should be rScotland) would have no military so could not bomb Moffat. Nor would cutting off water supplies do much good because the border counties have more than enough water of their own.

    The issue has a bearing on Craig’s post because it might lead to the UK’s land and maritime borders shifting further north.

  • fred

    “Oh Fred, you’re up to your old tricks again.
    The order came into force on 1st July 1999, but it was created and signed off on 13 April 1999.”

    Which wasn’t the day before devolution was it?

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    “Which wasn’t the day before devolution was it?”

    As you yourself pointed out, “Devolution didn’t happen all at once, the various sections of the The Scotland Act 1998 came into force at different times between 25th January 1999 and 20th May 1999”, but not until 1 July 1999 was power transferred from Westminster to the new Parliament.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Parliament

  • OldMark

    Both Craig’s video, and the resultant comments thread, have generated more heat than light on this matter, with the exception of the intervention from ‘EphemeralDeception’ at 7.51. The rationale for the adjustment in 1999 given here seems very plausible, and I would agree with him/her that ‘ From a strategic perspective with the risk of independence it seems to be a good move from London.’

    The adjustment to the maritime boundary in 1999 isn’t the only area where the Scots nationalists may cry ‘foul’ ‘gainst their neighbours- probably in vain. The waters around Rockall bank are also disputed. Given that 2 of the other claimants to Rockall bank are are Denmark (acting for the Faroe Islands), and Ireland, and that the UK claim would lapse on Scots independence and would then be taken up by an independent Scotland, what are the odds on either of these parties (particularly the Irish) ? playing hardball with the new Scots government on this issue ? The Wolfe Tones would certainly applaud if Dublin showed a bit on backbone on this issue !

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockall_Bank_dispute

  • fred

    “The existing boundary, incidentally, has no standing in international law. This piece suggests that the devil Scotland knows might be better than the other one, though.”

    Yes, I know, that’s what I’ve been saying.

    The sea bed is fixed but would the oil under it be a fixed or movable asset? The oil revenue could well end up being shared on a per capita basis. Who knows? It would all have to be negotiated.

  • fred

    @Node

    So when Craig said the fishery limits were sneaked in the night before devolution he was bullshitting then.

  • fool

    Scotland needs to start constructing and occupying large platforms / oil rigs / man made islands in the disputed zone.

  • Mary

    The Dynamic Duo have got the wind up. The journey will be a waste of fossil fuel.

    ‘David Cameron and Ed Miliband will skip their weekly Prime Minister’s Questions clash to travel to Scotland.’ Breaking News

  • MJ

    “Scotland needs to start constructing and occupying large platforms / oil rigs / man made islands in the disputed zone”

    It needs to put its money where its mouth is by building a whole bunch of frigates first.

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