SNP MEP Welcomes Tan Ban Rejection

27 September 2005
"Now up to member state governments to file this where the sun don't shine" - Smith

SNP Euro-MP Alyn Smith has welcomed today's European Parliament vote to reject the so-called 'tan-ban'. Mr Smith voted against plans to include sunlight in new EU health and safety regulations.

The controversial proposals, designed to protect workers from optical radiation, would have had adverse effects on sectors of Scottish industry such as fishing, forestry, construction and farming with workers being compelled to cover-up from the sun when they work outdoors. By a narrow margin, MEPs voted to exclude 'natural radiation' or sunlight from the new regulations. Speaking after the vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Alyn Smith MEP said:

"This was a victory for common sense. As I said in the debate, the SNP are strong advocates of effective health and safety legislation but what was put before us today would just not achieve these aims.

"It was a zealous attempt at over-regulation that if successful, would, have done more harm than good for workers' health and safety and employee, employer relations.

"The EU can and will make a tremendous contribution to improving the quality of life of its citizens - but it faces a bleak future indeed if it continues to interfere in national life at such a level without better explanation of the aims behind measures seen as imposing yet more regulations.

"I hope EU leaders will learn the lessons of their folly and file this proposal where the sun don't shine."