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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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LONDON PARTIES VOTE TO SELL-OUT FISHERIES ONCE AGAIN – WHITEFORD

Thursday, 23 April 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has expressed her shock and anger at Conservative, Labour and Liberal Euro-MPs voting to allow unused Scottish fishing quotas to be transferred to other EU countries.

The vote means that fishing fleets from around Europe, including Spain, which currently does not have access to Scottish quotas in the North Sea, could gain access to Scotland's historic fishing rights.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"This is absolutely shocking behaviour from the Conservatives and the other Unionist parties which could see our important fishing rights transferred away from local boats to countries without even a coastline in the North Sea.

"Sadly, in spite of all the recent noises from the Tories about how they are reformed since the bad old days of remote control of Scotland from London, it seems that nothing has changed since the days of the Heath Tory Government which – according to Cabinet documents – described the Scottish fishing industry as "expendable".

"I really cannot fathom why the Tories thought that voting against the interests of Scottish fishermen was the right thing to do."

Notes:

The vote in the European Parliament was on proposed EU legislation on control and compliance in fisheries.

The vote included a text added by a Spanish MEP which allows the Commission to reallocate unused fishing quota during a year to other Member States (Amendment 41). Currently quotas within the EU are allocated to countries on the basis of their historic rights.

Records published after the vote show that whilst the SNP voted against the text, Scotland's other 5 MEPs (2 Labour, 2 Tory and 1 LibDem) voted in favour.

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