SNP Euro-MP Ian Hudghton MEP has called on the Scottish Executive to demand that the Scottish Fisheries Minister lead the UK's negotiating team in this December's vital EU Fisheries Council.

The call comes after the European Council published information that showed that land-locked nations due to enter the EU - such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia - attended October's Fisheries Council, whilst Ross Finnie stayed away.

Mr Hudghton said:

"It beggars belief that countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia - who aren't even in the EU yet - can attend vital fisheries meetings, whilst Ross Finnie sits at home. Scotland's fishing industry is facing an unprecedented crisis as a direct result of EU mismanagement - yet all we see is Scottish Executive inaction."

"This December's fisheries talks are the most crucial there have ever been. It is vital that Scotland's case is heard. The Scottish Executive must demand that Scotland leads the talks for the UK - and ensure that our fishermen are not betrayed by London one last time."

Notes:

The EU Fisheries Council met in Luxembourg on 13th October. The meeting was attended by a number of states due to enter the EU - including the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

A full list of participants has been published by the Council. This is available from the SNP.

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