CONSERVATIVE MEP FOR SCOTLAND

Press Release: SNP Euro Group Vote Against Protecting Thousands of Offshore Jobs

06.05.2015.

SNP Absent as Green Euro Group Vote Against Protecting Thousands of North Sea Oil Jobs

Ian Duncan MEP has hit out at the The SNP as they and their European Group, The Green/ European Free Alliance, today failed to back an amendment to exempt North Sea oil rigs from punitive new emissions levels contained within the Medium Combustion Plants Directive (MCPD).

The MCPD seeks to limit emissions from small combustion engines, including those that power 194 of the UK’s oil rigs. Amid warnings from industry and the UK government that the directive would result in thousands of job losses and a slow down in recovery of North Sea oil, Ian Duncan MEP tabled an amendment in the Environment Committee of the European Parliament to exempt oil rigs from the scope of the legislation, which was adopted by other parties.

Dr Duncan took time out of the campaign trail to ensure the exception was secured in Committee, however no SNP MEP turned up to vote, and the European Political Group to which they belong - the Green/ European Free Alliance, voted against the amendment, risking thousands of North Sea jobs.

Commenting after the vote, Ian Duncan MEP said:

“This amendment was of utmost importance to the North Sea oil industry, and it is shameful that the SNP’s Euro group voted against it. Government and Industry have repeatedly warned that the directive as drafted could result in thousands of job losses in the North East of Scotland, but obviously that warning has fallen on deaf ears.

"I am pleased that the Conservatives were able to secure the exemption with the help of other European parties, but I am bitterly disappointed that the SNP could not persuade their group to protect North Sea oil jobs, nor show up for the vote. The message they are sending to the North East of Scotland is that they simply don’t care enough about the jobs to actually show up and vote for them.

"I will continue to fight to ensure that Scotland’s oil rigs are excluded from this legislation as it passes through Parliament."

Ends

Notes

1) Ian Duncan MEP’s amendment (number 125) to the MCPD can be found here:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&reference=PE-551.798&format=PDF&language=EN&secondRef=01

2) Detail on the Medium Sized Combustion Plant Directive: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/clean_air_policy.htm

3) Ian Duncan MEP is the Conservative Energy Spokesperson in the European Parliament

4) Detail of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee can be found here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/envi/home.html

For more information contact Andrew Johnston