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A senior Member of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee has said that electing a strong group of SNP MPs to Westminster is the best way of ensuring that fishing becomes a priority for the UK Government. Ian Hudghton MEP made his remarks during a meeting with the SNP candidate for North East Fife, Stephen Gethins, and fishermen’s representatives in Pittenweem. Local MSP Roderick Campbell also attended the meeting.
Speaking after meeting with the fishermen, the SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP said: “Our fishermen in Fife and across the rest of Scotland know better than most the value of a strong voice representing them in the European Union. Decisions about our fishing industry made in Brussels have a big impact on our fishermen and the coastal communities the industry supports. In spite the fact that the Scottish Fisheries Minister is responsible for the industry in Scotland and about two thirds of the UK industry our Minister must rely on the UK Government who have refused to give Scotland a top seat at the European negotiating table.
“Fishing is a crucial part of the economy here in North East Fife and across Scotland. Yet it has been a low priority for a succession of UK Governments Tory, Liberal and Labour with our fishermen even being described by UK officials as being ‘expendable’. The only way to make sure that fishing becomes the priority it deserves to be is to make sure that we have a strong group of SNP MPs at Westminster who will hold the UK Government to account over European representation.
SNP Westminster candidate for North East Fife, Stephen Gethins added: “We have had a very useful series of meetings with representatives of the fishing community here today. Our fishing industry provides some of the finest produce in Europe and is a valuable part of our economy and Scotland’s valuable food and drink industry. However the industry has been ill served by successive UK Governments and the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy. The SNP fully intends to make fishing a priority at Westminster and make sure that any future UK Government puts the interests of the industry first.