FRENCH and Irish citizens are reaping the “benefit that nature bestowed” upon Scotland, an Alba MP has warned – highlighting the “absurdity” of Westminster flogging Scottish energy to foreign state-owned firms.

Kenny MacAskill delivered a speech in Westminster Hall on Tuesday, demanding a greater stake for the public in the country’s renewable “bounty” as he warned Scots were missing out on reaping the fruits of a green bonanza through the lack of a public energy company.

The Alba MP for East Lothian highlighted House of Commons research which he said showed widespread ownership of Scottish renewable projects by foreign companies.

“The absurdity’s that there are public ownership and state companies operating in the Scottish and UK offshore wind sector,” he said.

“The absurdity is that they are neither Scottish or UK, but foreign state firms operating in Scottish and UK waters.

“Delivering profit not for governments in Edinburgh or London but furth of these shores and with the wealth benefiting lands many far from these.”

MacAskill said a publicly-owned energy company modelled on a scheme in Demark could demand a “20% stake in every new offshore wind development”.

The former SNP member and one-time Scottish justice secretary went on to aim criticism at the Edinburgh administration for its failure to create a publicly-owned energy company.

'Where's ours?'

He said: “A Scottish energy company was promised by SNP promised and then shamefully abandoned. It must be delivered.”

MacAskill went on: “There should be a Scottish state energy company and it should be both operating and taking a share in all fields being developed. 

“Other nations do it and as I’ve shown are doing it in our waters. Denmark with both its company and its public stake is showing what can be done. Just as Norway showed what can be achieved with an oil and gas bounty.

“Scotland has lost out on the former and must not do so with the latter. The bounty from the energy off our shores must benefit our people not just corporations and even state-owned companies from other lands.

READ MORE: What happened to the Scottish Government's public energy company plans?

“The great Scottish comedian Billy Connolly penned a song Oh Sergeant Where’s Mine, describing the plight of a soldier with life-changing wounds reflecting on the prospectus the recruiting sergeant had first given him.

“Lying in his hospital bed he says: ‘Oh sergeant, is this the adventure you meant, when I put my name down on the line. All that talk of computers and sunshine and skis, oh, I'm askin' you, sergeant, where's mine?’

“Well all I’m asking you, minister: Where’s ours?

“All that talk of the Saudi Arabia of wind and the work and the jobs, where are they?

“And when other nations whether Ireland or France, Denmark, Sweden or Norway, China have a share of our natural bounty, oh minister where’s ours?"

The National:

Responding for the Government, Energy Minister Graham Stuart said: “This Government believes that using a state-owned model is not the best approach.

“I am sure that if we had allowed a new state company to have come in and dominate our offshore wind sector we would never have the 70% in the cost of offshore wind that we have seen over recent years.”

He said allowing foreign state-owned and private companies to develop renewables projects in the UK had been “extremely effective”.