Electoral Commission Threatens Cuts to Scottish MEPs

12 June 2007
A proposal from the Electoral Commission for the 2009 European election threatens to reduce the number of MEPs representing Scotland to six.

Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith and colleagues from all parties have sent a letter of objection to the Electoral Commission and are calling on all organisations that interact with Europe to support their case.

SNP MSP Keith Brown has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for seven MEPs to be retained.

Alyn Smith said:

"This is the second time in two elections Scotland has been threatenedwith losing an MEP. Last time the number of MEPs was cut from eight toseven. To cut Scotland's representation even further would damage ourability to represent the people of Scotland properly.

"Scotland is one constituency in Europe, which means we have a lot ofground, a lot of people and a lot of different issues to cover.

"Between us we represent everything from farming and fishing to financial services and everywhere from the Borders and Dumfries to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

"Scotland's Parliament is responsible for implementing EU legislation and Scotland's separate legal, educational and university systems for example all need strong representation in Europe.

"I urge all organisations from Community groups to the Law Society to let the Electoral Commission know that further cuts to Scotland'srepresentation in Europe are unacceptable.

Keith Brown MSP said

"I hope Parliamentarians on all sides in the Scottish Parliament will join their MEP colleagues in jointly supporting calls to retain seven MEPs."The unique situation created by both geography and devolution must betaken into account when determining how many MEPs Scotland needs."