Eilidh Whiteford is MP for Banff & Buchan

SNP Will Vote to Prevent NHS Privatisation

Friday, 21 November 2014


Commenting on the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill which is being debated in the House of Commons today, local MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford said:

“The Scottish National Party will be supporting this Private Members Bill in the House of Commons to prevent the back-door privatisation of the health service.

“While responsibility for the NHS in Scotland is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, any cuts to NHS funding in England have knock on implications for the Scottish block grant and result in cuts to the Scottish budget.

“The parts of the Bill that apply directly to Scotland would exempt the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). TTIP could threaten the public ownership of the NHS and could undermine the democratic decisions of the people of Scotland. The Scottish Government’s proposals in its submission to the Smith Commission call for fiscal autonomy for the Scottish Parliament which would give Scottish Government greater control over NHS funding.

“I will be seeking cast iron assurances from the Westminster Secretary of State for Health that the TTIP will not impact on the Scottish Government’s ability to determine how NHS services are provided, and that there will be no obligation to open the NHS in Scotland to private providers as is happening in England.”


Scottish Interests Frozen Out of Vital Discards Talks

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

North-east representatives condemn Westminster’s silencing of Scottish Fisheries Minister

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has condemned the UK Government for its decision to refuse the Scottish Fisheries Minister the opportunity to speak at critical EU talks on discards this week.

The Scottish Government’s Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead, who has been in post for 7 years, put in the request to the UK Government to speak in the talks. However, Conservative Lord deMauley was instead chosen to represent the UK in the discussions.

Matters being discussed at this week’s EU Council included the landing obligation, or ‘discards ban’, which fishing industry leaders have warned could be disastrous for Scottish fishing if key concessions are not won.

Commenting from Brussels, Mr Lochhead – who is Europe’s longest serving Fishing Minister – said:

“Today we found ourselves in the crazy position of un-elected Lord Rupert Ponsonby, 7th Baron de Mauley, representing the UK Government and making the briefest of interventions – after being passed a note by an official – on a crucial discussion on the issue of fish discards - an issue the Scots industry tell me is one of the most important they face.”

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford, whose constituency hosts Europe’s largest fishing port, added her voice to the condemnation:

“This week’s Council meeting addressed issues which largely impact the Scottish industry yet an unelected Lord with next to no experience of fishing was chosen by Westminster to speak on the industry’s behalf. With the discards ban looming large on the horizon, we need the strongest voice for our fishermen. Instead, Scotland’s interests were completely frozen out of these critical talks.”

North East MSP Christian Allard attended the SFF’s annual dinner in Edinburgh last week where he heard SFF President Ross Dougal call for Scottish ministers to take the lead in negotiations where appropriate. Mr Allard commented:

“Only last week, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation supported calls for Scottish Ministers to be able to take the lead in fisheries negotiations. News of this farce will disappoint our fishermen at a time when they need the support most.”


Banff & Buchan MP Re-Elected Vice-Chair of Parliamentary Fisheries Group

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has been re-elected as a Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Fisheries Group.

The meeting, held today in the House of Commons, was attended by MPs from a range of constituencies with fishing interests. It was also attended by UK Government Fisheries Minister George Eustice MP who was questioned on a range of issues by the Banff & Buchan MP.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“I took the opportunity to press the Minister on the implementation of the ban on discards, which comes into effect for the pelagic fleet next January. It’s vitally important that Scottish fishermen are subject to the same compliance measures as the non-EU vessels that fish in our waters. It would be completely unacceptable if Scottish vessels were to be fishing alongside Norwegian vessels which are subject to different rules.”


Local MP Urges Shoppers to Break the Bag Habit

Beach clean weekend highlights damaging effect of plastic bags on the environment

Member of Parliament for Banff and Buchan, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, joined environmental campaigners on a beach clean of High Shore in Macduff this weekend as a new Scottish Government scheme on reducing bag use came into effect.

From 20 October, shoppers will face a 5p minimum charge for use of a bag in a scheme that is designed to reduce use of bags and protect the environment. Around 750 million bags are used in Scotland every year.

Eilidh Whiteford joined the 'Surfers Against Sewage' group as they launched a beach clean at High Shore, Macduff on Saturdy, commenting:

"Carrier bags are a highly visible aspect of litter, and that has become clear in today's beach clean. By reducing the amount being carelessly discarded we can cut litter and its impact on our environment and economy. A small charge should also encourage us all to stop and think about what we discard and what can be re-used."

“We have seen elsewhere that carrier bag charging has been effective in encouraging people to reuse bags. This charge is not a tax but will see retailers donating the proceeds to charity - this could be up to £5 million per year after retailers have covered their costs."

“Thousands of Scottish people already use bags for life and some retailers already charge. It is now time, however, for a national effort.”

The Surfers Against Sewage campaign weekend concluded on Sunday with a clean-up of Banff Links.

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