SNP On EU Budget: UK Failing Scotland And Failing Europe

13 December 2005
SNP Europe Spokesman Alyn Smith MEP has today (Tuesday) called on the UK Presidency of the EU to pay more attention to the needs of Scotland's fragile communities in their latest proposals on the EU budget, due out tomorrow.

The new proposals are being issued after the first UK plan was comprehensively rejected across Europe.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Mr Smith said:

"The UK proposals are opaque to say the least. UK Ministers have thrown up so much smoke and mirrors Brussels will be looking more like a convention of the magic circle when the summit starts at the end of this week.

"Having ploughed through it all, I'm sad to say that the simple fact is that Scotland is being overlooked yet again by the UK and it is other countries doing our fighting for us by rejecting these flawed proposals.

"It is just as well that the UK has been sent home to think again in advance of the summit meeting, as the current proposals are totally unacceptable. The UK proposals would see Scotland lose out, and Europe as well.

"The EU is crying out for meaningful reform and the new member states could have been our staunchest allies in reforming it, but Messrs Brown and Blair's bully boy tactics have lost friends and alienated people all over the EU.

"The UK proposals would see Scotland's share of EU funding slashed, would see the Research and Development budget cut and would see the Common Agricultural Policy Budget, the supposed target of Mr Blair's reforming zeal, barely touched at all compared with the proposals of the Luxembourg Presidency.

"The SNP has been campaigning for reform of the EU for years, and it is sad to see this historic opportunity thrown away and the atmosphere poisoned for future reform. Scotland could do so much better."