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Ian Hudghton
Scottish National Party
Member of the European Parliament

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Press Releases
27 August 2003
Hudghton welcomes Scapa Flow report

Ian Hudghton, SNP MEP, says plans to establish a major transhipment hub port in Orkney’s Scapa Flow could prove beneficial not just to Orkney, but to the whole of Scotland.  Welcoming yesterday’s report on the economic impact of bringing such a facility to the Northern Isles, Mr Hudghton said that the strategic position of Scapa Flow and its natural deep water assets were world renowned.  However, he added that development of the facility should be seen as an opportunity not just for the north of Scotland but for many of Scotland’s other ports.

Mr Hudghton says plans to develop a hub port at Scapa Flow are in line with current EU proposals to develop high capacity north-south and east-west sea corridors to facilitate trade across the European Union.  A terminal in Scotland would increase the choice of routes available to Scottish businesses for the import and export of bulk materials and goods and help expand the Scottish economy.  However it was important that, within Scotland, the strategy is properly thought out and, it was his view that Scapa Flow had a strong case to make in the face of competition from other locations.

Speaking from Brussels, Mr Hudghton said:

“Earlier this year the European Parliament discussed a report highlighting the severe congestion on many of Europe’s transport networks and the detrimental effects, not only on the environment and public health, but the negative impact on trade within the EU and beyond.  The report concluded that road congestion could be eased if marine transportation of goods was developed and expanded.

“It was envisaged that high-capacity north-south and east-west corridors be developed and expanded using modern sea-ports as transport network hubs.  Scotland is well placed to meet this strategic objective with our long coastline and many port facilities, which could handle shipments to and from an Orkney hub.

“However, we need to look closely at what option is going to fit these objectives best, and I believe that Scapa Flow, sitting at the very apex of the British Isles must have a very strong case to argue.  If we get this right, then all Scotland’s ports should be able to look forward to a successful role in the super sea-highways of the future.”

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