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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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CURRENT REVIEW IS OPPORTUNITY TO SCRAP COMMON FISHERIES POLICY – WHITEFORD

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

SNP Conference delegates reiterated their support for scrapping the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) at their Annual Conference in Inverness.

Among those leading the calls were SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford and SNP President and Euro-MP Ian Hudghton.

Speaking to a packed conference hall, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"These are exceptionally challenging times for our fishing industry. The recession is putting our fishermen under intense pressure, with lower fish prices compounding the underlying problems caused by the failures of the Common Fisheries Policy. There's universal agreement that the CFP has failed, and the current Review of the CFP is an opportunity to scrap it. However, change won't happen soon enough for our fishermen.

"The Scottish Government has been working hard to cushion the industry from the effects of the recession, building evidence to show the economic impact of current EU measures on the industry, and offering additional financial support for fuel efficiency and safety measures. The Scottish fleet has led the rest of Europe in pioneering conservation methods, and needs to see rewards for its efforts. We need to end the scandal of discards by allowing our fishermen to land more of what they catch.

"When the Tories took us into the CFP in the 1970s, the Heath Government said at the time: 'Scottish fishing is expendable'. The last 30 years have seen a catalogue of neglect and betrayal by successive London governments. Only when decision making power is brought back to Scotland will we see an end to the bureaucracy and mismanagement that characterise the current regime."

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