8, 2013 at 7:27 AM LONDON, Oct. 8 (UPI) — The OPEC secretary general said London and Edinburgh may be better off staying together as part of an integrated United Kingdom. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond announced plans for a referendum on independence in 2014. His government maintains it could support itself financially in large part though oil and natural gas developments in the North Sea. Abdalla el-Badri , secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said in an interview published Monday by The Daily Telegraph most of the reserves in the North Sea are depleted. The Scottish government, however, estimates there are more than 20 billion barrels of recoverable reserves left in the North Sea. Salmond released a paper in May saying the Scottish energy industry contributed about $39.5 billion to the gross domestic product in 2011. The British government challenges the claims. An audit last year by the Institute of Fiscal Studies in London said “an independent Scotland would face a bigger fiscal adjustment than the rest of the U.K.” Badri said both governments benefit from unity, adding the referendum has little to do with OPEC itself. “Myself, I don’t see how England will stay without Scotland and Scotland stay without England,” he said. “This is how we all grew up, with the U.K., not with Scotland and England.”
Eurovision 2014: United Kingdom confirms participation
The British broadcaster BBC is yet to determine the method and mechanism it will use to select its 2014 Eurovision Song Contest entry and representative. Further details regarding UK’s 2014 Eurovision plans will be released in due course. In 2013 Bonnie Tyler was selected to represent the United Kingdom via an internal selection with her entry Believe in me. The United Kingdom debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 and has won the event a total of 5 times (1967, 1969, 1976,19881 and 1997). The UK also holds the record of being the country with the most 2nd places in the contest , achieving the runner up position a total of 15 times. We must not forget that the United Kingdom also holds the record of hosting the contest a total of 8 times: London 1960, 1963, 1968, 1977, Edinburgh 1972, Brighton 1974, Harrogate 1982 and Birmingham 1998. The UK has only missed one contest since their debut in 1957, notably the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest. The Brits have been competing in Europe’s favourite television show religiously every year since 1959. Sweden, Denmark , Finland , Norway, France, Albania , Iceland, Ireland, San Marino, Georgia , Switzerland, The Netherlands, Estonia , Malta, Russia, Germany, Austria , FYR Macedonia , Montenegro, Belgium , Spain ,United Kingdom and Latvia have all confirmed their participation at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest next year in Denmark . Whilst Italy, Belarus , Ukraine, Moldova, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia have said they will most likely be in the competition. Who will follow into Bonnie Tyler’s footsteps and represent the United Kingdom at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest? Stay tuned to Esctoday.com for the latest information.