BP threatened with nationalisation in independent Scotland

OIL GIANT BP has been threatened with nationalisation in an independent Scotland.

Jim Sillars, the former SNP deputy leader, also warned that bankers’ “casino days” would be over.

The prominent Yes campaigner yesterday attacked “scaremongering” business leaders, claiming they will face a “day of reckoning” if Scotland votes to break away from the UK.

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Mr Sillars accused large companies and banks of “subverting Scotland’s democratic process” by making high-profile interventions in the independence referendum debate.

He said: “This referendum is about power, and when we get a Yes majority we will use that power for a day of reckoning with BP and the banks.

“The heads of these companies are rich men, in cahoots with a rich English Tory Prime Minister, to keep Scotland’s poor poorer through lies and distortions.

“The power they have now to subvert our democracy will come to an end with a Yes.

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“BP, in an independent Scotland, will need to learn the meaning of nationalisation, in part or in whole, as it has in other countries who have not been as soft as we have been forced to be.

“As for the bankers: your casino days, rescued by socialisation of your liabilities while you waltz off with the profits, will be over.”

Mr Sillars added: “What kind of people do these companies think we are? They will find out.”

His comments were seized on as “threats” by campaigners for a No vote.

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Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown said: “It seems the Yes campaign are completely losing the plot.

“To even suggest BP would need to learn the ‘meaning of nationalisation’ and there will be a ‘day of reckoning’ for big businesses is not only threatening but also utterly unnecessary.

“The Yes side are playing a dangerous game by attacking global companies just because they have dared to question the SNP’s fantasy economics.”

Alex Russell, professor of petroleum accounting at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, has backed a Yes vote in next week’s referendum.

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Professor Russell said: “Though the quantities of oil and gas left are lower than what has so far been removed, the prices are higher, so the value of the second half of Scotland’s oil opportunity may be even greater than the first 40 years.

“We need to grasp that opportunity for Scotland through a Yes vote.”

Meanwhile, Niall Ferguson, the Glasgow-born Harvard professor and financial historian, said independence would cause a recession and a fall in population and claimed he would apply for a US passport in the event of a Yes vote.