In Iain Macwhirter's excellent article he refers to "the Scottish Government's call to repatriate to Holyrood powers such as the Crown Estate ...", then writes, "...
but let's not go there" (Return of the Maastricht b******s, Comment, November 4). However, maybe we should.
Ownership of the Crown Estates in Scotland, including a huge coastline and so on, has indeed been devolved to Scotland, where it belongs. The scandal is that the management of these Scottish estates is in the hands of a private company based in England so that all the revenues go straight to the Treasury in Westminster, to be used primarily in the interests of the UK Parliament, which is London, and not for the interests of the people all over Scotland whose estates these are.
Insult is added to injury by the fact that the yearly operational costs of running Faslane base, the Coulport storage depot and the nuclear warhead testing and manufacturing facility at Aldermaston, are all expenditure credited in full against Scotland, ie paid for by Scotland. This yearly expenditure is currently £1.8 billion. Since expenditure by the MOD is not proportionately spent in Scotland, and many services' facilities are being moved to England, the sense of being robbed blind is rather powerful.
Susan FG Forde
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