At Tuesday’s The Times CEO summit during a Q&A George Osborne said: “As Finance Minister over the last 6 years, quite often I’m asked why can’t we be more like Singapore or Switzerland. These are much smaller countries, there are many fewer people living in them. 4 million people live in Norway, 65 million people live in this country, and they have same amount of oil as us”. – He then sniggers.
David Cameron said exactly the same on June 12th’s Andrew Marr Show also stating Norway’s population as 4 million when it is in fact 5 million.
This revelation will stun Scots who were told in 2014 that they needed the UK’s larger population because we had oil. Are Cameron and Osborne admitting that they were wrong or just that they lied? They also said oil prices are volatile which means it can’t stay down forever so presumably they believe they will rise again? Hopefully just as Scotland becomes an independent EU member. To that end its worth noting a Pinsent Masons report earlier in the year found that 96 per cent of senior oil executives believe that Scotland’s oil industry will recover to ‘peak’ price levels of profitability seen in the first half of 2014 ($110-$115), the majority expecting this to happen within the term of the next Scottish parliament.
Apologies for the poor quality of the Osborne bit, but it really is essential watching and we have added Cameron’s clip on the end.
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Thanks to Annemarie Gillan for the Osborne video.
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