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Brussels Fish Control Must End - Hudghton
SNP Euro-MP Ian Hudghton MEP has launched a bid in the European Parliament to secure cross-border, crossparty backing in a campaign to end the EU's exclusive control over fishing. The bid came as Mr Hudghton presented an official parliamentary Opinion on the proposed EU Constitution to the Parliament's Fisheries Committee.
News that the Fisheries Committee had appointed Mr Hudghton as official Draftsman on the Constitution came during the SNP's National Conference in Inverness last month. Commenting after presenting his Opinion, Mr Hudghton said:
"Scotland's coastal communities have witnessed three decades of betrayal by London governments and years of fisheries mismanagement by the European Commission. Yet despite this, the proposed European Constitution calls for Brussels' control over fishing to be enshrined for good.
"These proposals are setting alarm bells ringing around the coasts of Europe. MEPs from various countries and from across the political spectrum have approached me to offer support in the campaign to highlight this huge problem. The SNP finds it impossible to support a constitution which hands over all say in our own fishing industry. Fortunately fishing communities in other countries are beginning to take notice too.
"The SNP is a pro-European party - but we cannot support a constitution which threatens a valuable industry and way of life. The EU's governments must sit up and pay attention to the views of Europe's fishing communities."
Note: The key paragraphs of Mr. Hudghton's draft Opinion are:-
Regrets the fact that, whereas the European Union's exclusive competence over marine biological resources had previously been a matter of secondary Community law as established in the Kramer case of 1976, the draft Constitution envisages this exclusive competence becoming a matter of primary, Constitutional law; Considers that, within the context of the other exclusive competences of the EU which are detailed in the draft
Constitution, the inclusion of the conservation of marine biological resources is anomalous and unjustified, and will undoubtedly lead to the Constitution being rejected by the citizens of many coastal communities.