The SNP has condemned a leading Scottish Tory who is
calling for the Common Fisheries Policy to be enshrined within the
proposed European Constitution. SNP Euro-MP Ian Hudghton MEP reacted with
disbelief after the call was made by Struan Stevenson MEP, president of
the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee. Mr Stevenson's stance
appears to be at odds with official Tory party policy.
Mr Hudghton commented:
"Struan Stevenson's call for the failed CFP to be
incorporated into the proposed European Constitution beggars belief. The
EU has utterly failed Europe's fishermen. Management of fisheries should
be returned to the nations - not kept in Brussels.
"The SNP has been campaigning against fisheries being
included as an exclusive EU competence in the new Constitution. We had
been hoping for the backing of all of Scotland's politicians. Instead the
Tories have decided to knife our fishing communities in the back, one last
"When Mr Stevenson was appointed president of the European
Parliament Fisheries Committee he claimed it was 'good news for Scotland'
and compared his position to that of a government minister. Mr
Stevenson's stance does not offer our fishermen good news. Any Scottish
fisheries minister who agreed to sign fisheries over to Europe in
perpetuity would have to resign. Accordingly, Struan Stevenson should
Notes for editors
Stevenson's call for the CFP to be enshrined in the proposed EU
Constitution is made in a report to the European Parliament's Fisheries
Committee. The report, to be voted upon on Monday 8th September, states
that "the major common fisheries policy objectives must be incorporated
into the text of the future Constitution".
stood in this year's election pledging to withdraw from the CFP. In a
Scottish Parliament debate of 12th June 2003, Tory MSP Ted Brocklebank
stated that "the CFP is a pernicious, unfair and hugely dangerous threat
to the richest fishing grounds in Europe."
In a press
release of 16th January 2002, Struan Stevenson stated that his presidency
of the EP Fisheries Committee was "the European Parliament's equivalent of
a ministerial position".