Tory conference

Johnson accuses SNP of ‘crazy’ oil and gas policy

Boris Johnson in Aberdeen
Boris Johnson in Aberdeen: ‘we must make use of our natural resources’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today launched a scathing attack on the SNP’s “crazy” plan to cut back on oil and gas production which he said would leave the country exposed to Putin’s “blackmail”.

Addressing the Scottish Conservative Party conference, he said Britain needed to stand up to Russian blackmail, become more self-sufficient in energy and ensure its defences were strong to stand up to threats.

“There is one crucial way in which we can begin now to help the whole world to stand up to Putin and that is to wean ourselves off dependence on his oil and gas.  And in that great national effort, Scotland will be in the lead,” he told delegates in Aberdeen.

“I mean doubling down on the UK’s production of offshore wind energy – much of it driven by the great gusts off the Scottish coast. 

“I mean investing in tidal – putting £39m into some revolutionary projects. 

“I mean more solar, and more nuclear, and more hydrogen, which is now powering municipal buses here in Aberdeen. 

“But I also mean making sensible use of this country’s own natural resources. 

“Are we not crazy to shut down domestic production, only to buy oil and gas – at a vast mark-up – from Putin’s Russia?  And yet that, unbelievably, is the policy of the SNP and of the Labour Party. 

“Together the UK is leading the world in standing up to the hydrocarbon drug-pushing bully of the Kremlin. 

“Together we are going to wean ourselves off our addiction and together we are a force for good in the world.”

Mr Johnson, accusing the SNP of “constitutional myopia”, said the Conservatives’ plan was to “go beyond the failed economic models of previous decades and unleash the full potential of every part of the UK. We believe in giving people the tools to level up.”

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The Prime Minister heaped praise on Douglas Ross despite the Scottish Tory leader calling for him to resign over the Downing Street parties scandal. Mr Johnson said Mr Ross was “the only political leader in Scotland to be saying loud and clear what is blindingly obvious to everyone – that this is not the moment to be having another referendum.”

He added: “This is not the time for yet more delectable disputations about the constitution when our European continent is being ravaged by the most vicious war in Europe since 1945 and when public services and the economy need to recover from the pandemic. “

“And how incredible that Labour should be so spiritually cowed that they have become nothing but the lapdogs and the enablers of the SNP. 

“On the subject of rolling over and having your tummy tickled, how incredible that even now it should be the policy of the SNP to respond to Putin’s sabre-rattling by getting rid of this country’s nuclear deterrent. 

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“Be in no doubt that at any UK General Election it would be those terrible twins – Labour and the Nats – each vying to be more left wing, more high-taxing, more generally hectoring and bossy and nannying, that would try to form a coalition. 

“And be in no doubt that Labour would rather work with the Nationalists to bring down this government, than work with us to stop the SNP from breaking up Britain.”

SNP MSP Rona Mackay said: “Douglas Ross must be regretting his decision to re-invite Boris Johnson after that tone-deaf insult.

“It was an ill-conceived 15-minute charade laced with numerous personal insults and the same old tired bluster but it contained not a single word of comfort for ordinary Scots suffering during this Tory cost of living crisis.

“For a Prime Minister to pitch up and deliver a message bereft of any substance about how he will help families make ends meet exposes just how little he cares about the people of this country.

“Scotland can see right through this Partygate Prime Minister who only ever looks out for number one.” 

See also: Sunak blasted for 320-word speech to Tory conference



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