Letter to Banffshire Journal - 24th January 2016
There are only six Scottish MEP’s, and we can’t always be in the room, but we do have to do our damnedest to ensure that when colleagues represent us at meetings, they do not vote against Scotland’s interests.
Letter to Banffshire Journal - 28th January 2015
On the 10th December 2015 the SNP was complicit in a vote in the European Parliament that would have meant cod was included in the discard ban from 1 January 2016.
I read Mr Hudghton’s letter of denial in last weeks Banffshire Journal having been taken to task by Peter Chapman in the previous weeks newspaper. Let me set out the facts. Ian is right, no Scot sits on the body responsible for coordinating the business of the Fisheries Committee. That is why before each co-ordinator meeting I sit with my representative on the body to discuss the issues and their implications for Scotland. Before the December meeting I sat with Dutch MEP Peter van Dalen (who was recently up in Peterhead) and we agreed that it was essential to vote against the proposal that would have included cod (and hake) in the discard ban from 1 January 2016.
Reading Mr Hudghton’s letter you would have the impression that the co-ordinators meeting is nothing to do with him. Really? The body that declares the priorities of the Fisheries Committee and sets the agenda, has nothing to do with him? The SNP is part of the Green Group in the European Parliament and was represented at the fateful co-ordinators meeting by a Green MEP, who voted against Scotland’s interests. I am sure if Mr Hudghton had been aware of the vote and its implications for Scotland he would have briefed his colleague. Whether his colleague would have listened is less clear. The Green Group in the Parliament commonly vote against Scottish fishing interests
At the meeting, only Peter van Dalen, my colleague, demanded that the matter be taken before the full committee. However, in the end, sanity prevailed and the co-ordinators reversed their position.
There is a lesson is this dark debacle. There are only six Scottish MEP’s, and we can’t always be in the room, but we do have to do our damnedest to ensure that when colleagues represent us at meetings, they do not vote against Scotland’s interests.
Dr Ian Duncan MEP
Conservative MEP for Scotland