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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
'Precedent' for oil revenue bid
Brent Bravo oil platform in the North Sea
North sea oil and gas provides billions of pounds for the Treasury
Scotland would not be the first part of the UK to benefit from North Sea oil revenue, according to the first minister.

Alex Salmond said both the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland had previously received some funds from oil profits.

The SNP leader plans to use the precedent when the Scottish Executive raises the issue with Westminster.

Lobbying for control of North Sea reserves was one of his party's key pledges before the Holyrood election.

At present, all revenues raised from oil and gas, about 1bn a month, go directly to the UK Treasury.

The SNP had promised to try to transfer the responsibility for the natural resource to the Scottish Parliament within 100 days of winning power.

Speaking 49 days after becoming first minister, Mr Salmond confirmed his intention to begin discussions with Westminster.

Why should it be seen as incredible when Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man have had such a thing in the past?
First Minister Alex Salmond

He said: "It is the case that there are precedents within the United Kingdom.

"For many years the Isle of Man enjoyed a direct subvention from Scottish oil resources, as did the Northern Ireland government."

Mr Salmond said that stemmed from an agreement in 1968 between the Treasury and the Manx and Northern Irish authorities.

He said: "Some royalties would go directly towards these two administrations."

"There have been two direct precedents within the United Kingdom to indicate that, and obviously when we offer our suggestions to Westminster we shall cite these precedents."

He added: "Given that over a long period of time a share of revenue from royalties was conceded to the Manx and Northern Irish government from Scottish oil revenues, is it so incredible that that precedent wouldn't argue that something similar could be done for the Scottish Parliament?

"Why should it be seen as incredible when Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man have had such a thing in the past that we shouldn't at least ask the question?"




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