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Scotland Wants Lead Role In EU Negotiations

by the Fish Site Editor
18 June 2010, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND, UK - SNP North East MSP Maureen Watt has raised the issue of Scotland taking a leading role in EU fisheries negotiations with the new Secretary of State for Scotland during his meeting with Holyroods committee conveners.

Scotland is home to the bulk of the UKs fishing fleet, but the Fisheries Secretary has often been excluded from key talks or relegated to a minor role by the previous UK Government.

Commenting Ms Watt said: Scotlands fishing fleet has taken a leading role in introducing innovative new conservation measures and there is a pressing need for a Scottish voice to be heard in EU fisheries negotiations. Given the greater importance to Scotland of the issue, I firmly believe that the Fisheries Secretary should be allowed to take a leading role in discussions.

I welcomed the opportunity to put that point to the new Secretary of State and I hope that the new UK Government will give it serious consideration rather than the obstinate refusal to do so that we saw under the previous administration. It was a positive meeting where he seemed to take on board what was discussed, and I hope that the new Secretary of State will now go on to take action on the issues that were raised with him.

The SNP Government recognises that fishing is a vital industry for Scotland and given that it was once described by a Westminster government as expendable, there is a clear need for Scotland to take a leading role in standing up for the industry in Europe.

the Fish Site Editor