SCOTTISH Labour is to seek cross-party backing for an outright ban on fracking, in a move designed to heap further pressure on the SNP.

A motion tabled by the party's environment spokeswoman Claudia Beamish calls on the Scottish Government to impose a permanent ban on the grounds that further exploitation of fossil fuels would add to global warming.

READ MORE: Energy secretary faces constituency conflict over fracking

The motion - which can expect support from the Greens and Liberal Democrats - comes as Ineos, the petrochemicals giant with licences to frack for shale gas across the Central Belt, revealed it had relocated its experts to England, where the technique is allowed.

It sparked concerns among those in favour of unconventional gas extract that Scotland was about to throw away a golden opportunity to boost the economy.

Labour tabled its motion ahead of a Scottish Government-sponsored debate at Holyrood on Wednesday on environment and climate change.

It claims there is "overwhelming scientific evidence confirming climate change as a major global threat," and warns that allowing fracking would run "contrary to meeting Scotland's climate change goals" and damage the environment.

Ms Beamish said: "The overwhelming consensus amongst scientists is that to tackle climate change we need to develop low carbon sources of energy.

"Developing another fossil fuel through fracking would be bad for our environment and make it even more difficult to meet our climate change obligations.

"Before the election Nicola Sturgeon told people she was very sceptical about fracking, but now she has been re-elected First Minister she has the chance to live up to her rhetoric.

"We are very clear - no ifs, no buts, no fracking with Labour.

"The SNP's temporary pause on fracking isn't good enough. Communities across Scotland want a permanent ban on fracking in Scotland."

READ MORE: Energy secretary faces constituency conflict over fracking

She added: "Having lost their majority the SNP are faced with a choice - they can work with centre-left parties like Labour to stop fracking, or they can side with the Tories to go ahead with this dangerous plan."

The SNP imposed a temporary ban on fracking following pressure from grassroots activists staunchly opposed to the technique.

A final decision on the future of fracking will not be taken before a series of specially-commissioned expert studies are completed next year.

Since imposing the moratorium, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's stance on the issue appears to have hardened.

In the run-up to the election she said she was "highly sceptical".

In her post-election cabinet reshuffle, she moved Fergus Ewing - who was widely believed to be in favour of fracking - out of the energy brief and into rural affairs.

The new minister ultimately responsible for fracking is Keith Brown, who has voiced scepticism in the past and whose Clackmannanshire constituency has seen protests over the possibility of extensive fracking in the area.

At the weekend, Ineos's director of corporate affairs, Tom Crotty, revealed the firm had moved its fracking operation from its Grangemouth base to England, where the first planning application to frack a well was approved in North Yorkshire last week.

He said Scotland was missing out.

Confirming the firm's specialist geologists and engineers were now "100 per cent deployed in England," he added: "What we said the Scottish Government is that our focus is very much south of the Border now, where we know we can put planning applications in and we can start work.

"We can't do that in Scotland. We think that is very bad news for Scotland."

Scots Tory energy spokesman Alexander Burnett said: "It seems like this opportunity will now sadly be missed."

A spokesman for Paul Wheelhouse, the Scottish Government's new energy minister, said the administration was "deeply sceptical" about fracking.

"Unless it can be proven beyond doubt that there is no risk to health, communities or the environment, there will be no fracking or unconventional gas extraction in Scotland."

READ MORE: Energy secretary faces constituency conflict over fracking