Scottish ministers can ban fracking, says QC’s legal opinion

Scottish ministers can pass a law to ban fracking, according to legal advice commissioned by Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Scottish ministers can pass a law to ban fracking, according to legal advice commissioned by Friends of the Earth Scotland.

The legal opinion, provided by Aidan O’Neill QC, said it is within the legislative competence of Holyrood to pass primary legislation to ban unconventional oil and gas extraction, using powers over onshore licensing recently devolved from Westminster.

Passing primary legislation would be less likely to attract legal challenges, according to the advice, which comes ahead of an announcement from the Scottish government - expected before Easter - on how it intends to deal with the unconventional oil and gas industry.

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