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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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LONDON GOVERNMENT BETRAYAL OF SCOTTISH FISHING INDUSTRY CONDEMNED

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson and SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford have condemned the position of the UK Government after it issued advice to all UK MEPs arguing that allocating traditional fishing rights to communities "stifles innovative business and the ability to adapt to climate change".

Fishing rights are currently allocated under the principle of relative stability, whereby there is a clear link between individual fishing nations and the waters and stocks they are allowed to fish.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

"The UK Government's revealed position on this is staggering and is quite simply an unacceptable betrayal of an industry that has been facing difficulty for a long time now.

"At a time when everyone involved in Scotland's fishing industry is calling for regional control of fishing rights to be at the heart of coming reforms to the CFP, for the UK Government to take this position only goes to show what little regard they have for the people who put fish on our tables."

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford commented:

"The London parties have long regarded the fishing industry as expendable and these latest revelations show that their ridiculous attitudes have not changed. For the UK Government to claim that historic fishing rights stifles innovation clearly shows their ignorance of the fact that the Scottish fishing fleet is at the cutting edge of developing new measures to increase sustainability.

"People in Banff & Buchan will be justifiably outraged at the UK Government's stance and there could scarcely be a clearer demonstration of the pressing need for Scotland to speak with its own voice in Europe through having the normal powers of an independent country."

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