Reports that the Scottish government is set to ban fracking led campaigners in England yesterday to call on Westminster to do the same.
The SNP administration placed a moratorium on the environmentally damaging gas extraction process in January 2015 and now Scottish ministers are believed to be finalising details of legislation to make the ban permanent.
A full ban is favoured by the Scottish Greens and Friends of the Earth Scotland.
Campaign group Frack Free Lancashire, which has been involved in daily protests at a fracking site in the north-west English county since January, welcomed the prospect of a ban in Scotland.
Claire Stephenson, one of the group’s activists, said: “We’re delighted that the long-awaited news following the Scottish consultation on fracking is leaning towards a full ban on this unnecessary and unwanted industry.
“Westminster faces yet another country recognising the inherently risky business of fracking and taking steps to protect its people.
“We hope that the government now performs a volte-face on its energy policy, instead of its current regressive view on fossil fuels.
“To mitigate climate change and ensure a clean, green future, we must cease chasing yet more fossil fuel extraction, as scientists across the globe have warned us, and back the renewable industry fully.”
Lancashire County Council had refused to give planning permission to energy exploitation firm Cuadrilla to drill for shale gas, but the decision was then overturned by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.
Drilling is under way at Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road near Fylde in Lancashire.