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EU chief enters North Sea oil row

Gunther Oettinger, the European Union's energy commissioner, has today entered a discussion regarding North Sea oil exploration. He has suggested that there should be "a blanket ban" on drilling in the North Sea until the issues regarding the Gulf of Mexico disaster have been clarified. This comes after a significant increase in activity by oil companies in the North Sea with the potential for further oil finds to be announced in the short-term. So will the UK government take heed of the European Union's warning?

At a time when the UK government needs every penny of taxation it can raise there is no chance that oil production in the North Sea will be curtailed in the short to medium term. While we may see the introduction of further safety regulations in the aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico disaster, the very fact that the European Union is attempting to enter a wholly UK subject regarding oil drilling in the North Sea will not do the European cause any good.

David Cameron and his coalition government are looking to take a very firm line with EU interference regarding UK matters and this unwarranted entry into the UK oil industry by a senior EU official is both unwelcome and unwanted.

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