Shell expected to caution against #Brexit on the basis of oil instability and possible #indyref2


One in three oil and gas firms plan job cuts in the coming year

THE UK’s largest oil company is set to warn against an Out vote in the forthcoming EU referendum at an investors gathering next week, in an intervention also expected to see the company raise fears over another Scottish independence referendum.

Shell, a major player in Scotland’s struggling North Sea oil industry, has been a consistent supporter of both the UK union and Britain’s membership of the EU.

Quoted in the Herald, Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said that the EU’s economic difficulties were “best tackled – to the benefit of all – with the UK's voice loudly expressed and loudly heard inside the EU.

Project Fear the sequel: 5 ways the EU campaigns have learned from Better Together

“It's for similar reasons that we'd like to see Scotland remain part of the United Kingdom.”

Shell confirmed to the paper that this remained the company’s position.

The intervention comes amid unprecedented hardship for Scotland’s North Sea oil industry.

One in three UK oil and gas firms have announced that they are planning to cut jobs in the coming year. These cuts will follow on from around 10,000 job losses in the industry in the last year.

Last month it was reported that UK oil and gas incurred greater losses to the public purse than it contributed in tax revenues, a first in the history of the industry.

The agonies of the North Sea sector are mainly the product of the global slump in the price of oil, which have seen oil prices fall by 70 per cent since 2014. However, the Unite trade union which represents many oil workers, has also blamed oil corporations for what it claims is mismanagement of the industry.

Explainer: The price of oil and the Scottish economy

Shell is one of many large corporations expected to make warnings of economic instability and business flight from the UK in the event of an Out vote in the final weeks of the UK’s EU membership referendum. The tactic would mirror the final weeks of the Scottish independence referendum, when many large firms threatened they could move operations out of the company in the event of a Yes vote.

The In/Out referendum on the EU membership will take place on 23 June.

Picture courtesy of Berardo62

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.