CONSERVATIVE MEP FOR SCOTLAND

Statement from Ian Duncan MEP - Letter from Alex Salmond to David Cameron

10.11.2014.

STATEMENT FROM IAN DUNCAN MEP REGARDING THE LETTER SENT BY MR SALMOND TO THE PRIME MINISTER REGARDING THE EU FISHERIES COUNCIL MEETING TODAY IN BRUSSELS

'I AM FRUSTRATED BY THE ONGOING POSTURING OF THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY REGARDING FISHING. MR LOCHHEAD IS PART OF THE UK DELEGATION ATTENDING THE FISHERIES COUNCIL TODAY. FOLLOWING THAT COUNCIL MEETING, HE WILL BE ATTENDING A MEETING WITH THE INCOMING FISHERIES COMISSIONER KARMENU VELLA. MR LOCHHEAD IS DISINGENUOUS TO SUGGEST THAT HE HAS NO REAL INFLUENCE.

IT IS MR LOCHHEADS RESPONSIBILTY TO ENSURE THAT THE UKS FINAL NEGOTIATING POSITION IS AS SCOTTISH AS IT CAN BE, NOBODY ELSE’S.

HE MUST FIGHT FOR THE INTERESTS OF SCOTTISH FISHERMEN, EVERY DAY, EVERYWHERE, AND NOT SIMPLY WHEN THE TIME COMES TO ANNOUNCE THE UK POSITION.

THE REAL WORK HAPPENS WHILST THE POSITION IS DEVELOPED. THAT IS WHEN THE INTERNAL POLITICAL NEGOTIATIONS TAKE PLACE, AND THAT IS WHERE MR LOCHHEAD SHOULD BE MOST ACTIVE.

TODAY ON THE FISHERIES COUNCIL AGENDA WERE DISCUSSIONS AFFECTING THE DEEP WATER FISHERIES THAT LIE OFF THE WEST COST OF SCOTLAND AND IRELAND.
SCOTTISH FISHERMEN ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR 60 PERCENT OF TOTAL CATCH. THIS IS VITALLY IMPORTANT TO A LARGE NUMBER OF SCOTTISH VESSESLS. BUT 40 PERCENT OF THE QUOTA IS CAUGHT BY OTHER FISHERMEN FROM ACROSS THE UK

WHEN SITUATIONS LIKE THIS ARISE, IT IS UP TO FISHERIES MINISTERS FROM ALL ADMINISTRATIONS TO GET ROUND THE TABLE AND FIGHT THEIR CORNER.

I WANT THE UK POISITON TO BE AS SCOTTISH AS IT CAN BE, BUT IF IT IS NOT, THEN THE FAILURE IS MR LOCHHEAD’S.

IT IS HIS RESPONSIBILITY TO FIGHT FOR SCOTTISH INTERESTS IN THE LEAD UP TO COUNCIL MEETINGS.

THE TEST OF THIS COUNCIL MEETING IS NOT WHO READ OUT THE UK POSITION BUT WHO HAMMERIED IT OUT TO REFLECT THE NEEDS AND FEARS OF SCOTTISH FISHERMEN.

DID MR LOCHHEAD DO HIS JOB?

FOR ALL THE DISCUSSION WE HAVE HAD ABOUT WHO LEADS FOR SCOTLAND, IN HIS LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER, MR SALMOND DID NOT TOUCH ANY OF THE ISSUES BEING DISCUSSED TODAY.

FISHERMEN ARE NOT A FOOTBALL'.