Fracking ban UK: Scotland's fracking ban will stay despite Liz Truss change of policy in England

Scotland’s ban on fracking will remain despite the announcement by UK Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg that he was ending the moratorium south of the border.

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Mr Rees-Mogg said the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine meant securing domestic energy supplies was vital.

But SNP Energy Secretary Michael Matheson reiterated the Scottish Government's opposition to new fracking licences.

Climate strikers are gathering outside Edinburgh City Chambers as part of the latest global climate protest. Picture: Shutterstock.

Shortly after the UK Government announcement, Mr Matheson tweeted: "To be clear – this policy change does not apply in Scotland. Fracking can only happen here if licences are issued by the Scottish Government and we do not intend to issue any licences."

A spokesman for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon later said there was no review point for the Scottish Government's position on fracking.

The diverging policy positions on the controversial method of recovering gas from shale rock come as young people from all over Scotland are due to gather outside Edinburgh City Chambers today as part of the latest wave of global climate strikes.

Labour said by lifting the fracking ban in England the Truss government had created a "charter for earthquakes" while the Liberal Democrats said voters in rural areas were being treated as "guinea pigs" for the fracking industry.

But Mr Rees-Mogg said fracking was in the national interest and would make the country richer.

Fracking is the process of hydraulic fracturing, which uses high-pressure liquid to release gas from shale rock.

The 2019 Conservative manifesto pledged not to lift England's moratorium unless "the science shows categorically it can be done safely".

But Mr Reees-Mogg suggested current limits on acceptable levels of seismic activity were too restrictive and said the Government was determined to "realise any potential sources of domestic gas".

Regulations require work to stop if tremors above 0.5 on the Richter scale are detected. Mr Rees-Mogg said he wanted that lifted potentially to 2.5, telling MPs: "There are millions of seismic events of 2.5 or lower in the world every year, we should not assume that every seismic event is the San Francisco earthquake."

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