MSPs campaigning for a Yes vote in Thursday’s referendum say that independence could open up the chance to exploit untapped oil reserves in the lower Firth of Clyde.
The SNP quartet of Michael Russell, Margaret Burgess, Chic Brodie and Kenny Gibson talked up the “vast natural resources” in the lower Firth at a gathering in Irvine on Monday.
Mr Russell, the constituency MSP for Argyll and Bute, said: “Instead of relishing the opportunities of our vast natural resources on the lower Firth of Clyde, Westminster has lumbered us with the biggest collection of weapons of mass destruction in Western Europe.
“With a Yes vote on Thursday we can get rid of these immoral weapons and focus our energies on building a sustainable and prosperous economy for the west coast.
“The opportunity to tap into the oil reserves in the lower Firth of Clyde will transform local economies, particularly those situated along the Cowal peninsula and across the Isle of Bute, bringing much needed investment and job opportunities.”
The Scottish Government, in collaboration with industry and academia, has announced it will be hosting a joint workshop to examine the oil and gas potential off the West coast this autumn.
Mr Brodie, one of the party’s regional list MSPs for the south of Scotland, added: “The Tories’ McCrone-type deception of the oil boom potential in the Firth of Clyde is a classic example of Westminster not having Scotland’s best interests at heart.
“We need independence to create the jobs and economic benefits that will come from oil and gas production rather than squandering Scotland’s wealth by paying for the next 50 years of Trident nuclear weapons.”