Are newspapers hiding the truth about North Sea oil from Scots readers?

An opinion piece published in the Daily Telegraph in 2018 has resurfaced on Twitter, which argued that North Sea oil could be a ‘bargaining chip’ in Brexit negotiations.

 

SNP MP Dr Philippa Whitford has claimed the newspaper doesn’t want Scots to see this viewpoint. Is she right?

The Claim:

 

“Funny how the #Oil in Scottish waters is always seen as a benefit to Britain but a terrible burden for Scotland! Wonder why they didn’t want Scots to see this article. #SelfDetermination #ScotRef”

 

SNP's Dr Philippa Whitford MP

Twitter, 26th February 2019

    The facts

  • The article in question is an opinion piece by writer Andy Critchlow, published in November 2018.
     

  • It was published in the business section of the Daily Telegraph, which is carried in all editions of the paper across the UK, and was therefore in the Scottish edition of the paper.

  • It was published on the newspaper’s website and can still be read online today by people in Scotland.

What the experts say

 

“This is bonkers - it is published online on our website here https://bit.ly/2Ozy8QK

Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Scotland in Union Fact Check Conclusion:

The SNP is always looking for a grievance, however contrived.

 

This particular opinion piece was published in the Scottish edition of the Daily Telegraph and is available online for readers in Scotland – but Dr Whitford chose to believe the conspiracy theories peddled by nationalists on Twitter rather than checking her facts.

It is not the first time that Dr Whitford has been caught out. In the run-up to the 2014 referendum she made the incendiary claim that a privatisation agenda in England was forcing a hospital to consider cancelling cancer operations.

It was described as the ‘most shameful, blatant lie of the campaign’.

 

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/surgeon-exposed-spreading-bogus-claims-4103150

The Nationalists’ obsession with conspiracy theories about oil has been covered by our fact check service before.

 

https://www.scotlandinunion.co.uk/nat-fact-check-secret-oil

Official figures show that if Scotland became independent and was in receipt of all oil revenues, families would still be thousands of pounds better off as part of the UK.

Are newspapers hiding the truth about North Sea oil from Scots readers?

Dr Whitford chose to believe the conspiracy theories peddled by nationalists on Twitter

rather than checking her facts.

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