SNP has dropped the ball over protecting Scottish islands from EU red tape


Ian Duncan MEP has raised concerns over the Scottish Government´s commitment to protecting Islands from EU emissions legislation. In a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Europe, Fiona Hyslop, Dr Duncan expresses his frustration that the Scottish Government did not actively support his plan to exempt islands from the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD).

Ian has been made aware of a letter from the Scottish Government office in Brussels asking the MEP in charge of the directive, Andrzej Grzyb, to put forward an emergency proposal to exclude Islands from the plans. The letter was posted this week, some two weeks after Ian´s proposal in the Environment Committee was defeated.

The MCPD seeks to limit emissions from small combustion engines, and earlier this month Ian successfully excluded all oil rigs in the North Sea from the plans.

Ian writes:

"I am writing to express my deep disappointment at the Scottish Government's lack of early engagement on this matter. Beginning to lobby two weeks after the Environment Committee voted on the matter is too late. If the Scottish Government had actively lobbied the various political groups in the Parliament before the vote, including the Group to which the SNP belongs, the chances of making progress would have been significantly enhanced. Attempting to shoehorn the amendment back into the trialogue discussions via Mr Grzyb will be difficult; his mandate for negotiations was established by the committee vote. However, I will be working hard with Mr Grzyb, the ECR Shadow Rapporteur and the Commission to find a solution. Time and time again we are told the Scottish Government does not have the opportunity to shape EU legislation to suit Scotland’s interests. However this is a clear case where the Scottish Government’s early engagement could have been invaluable in securing political support for my islands amendment"


1. Detail on the Medium Sized Combustion Plant Directive:

2. Ian Duncan MEP is the Conservative Energy Spokesperson in the European Parliament