Agriculture MEP Invites Pesticides Draftswoman to Scotland

05 August 2008
Scotland's only full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee Alyn Smith has invited the draftswoman of the EU pesticides package to Scotland to come meet farmers and crofters to hear and see first hand the potential impact of the pesticides package as it currently stands. He has also published a briefing on the package so that non-agricultural MEPs will be able to understand the issues.

Hiltrud Breyer, a German Green MEP, sits in the same parliamentary Group as Alyn, given that the SNP has co-habited with the European Greens for many years and Alyn hopes that by inviting her to enjoy Scots hospitality the industry in Scotland will be able to persuade her that a number of the proposals currently in the package cause grave concern in Scotland. Negotiations on the package begin in earnest in the Parliament in September.

Alyn said:

"The relationship between the SNP and the European Greens is really pretty comfortable, we agree on most things, and where we disagree it is with mutual respect and the dialogue is always frank.

"I suspect I do disagree with Hiltrud on this one, but that makes it all the more important we keep channels open and as a German MEP I'm relying on the affection all Germans have for Scotland to get her here to hear from our experts what the proposals would actually do if they are implemented as they stand.

"That is of course a big if, they will certainly not be implemented as they stand, but I will make every effort to actually influence this package as it moves through Parliament, and winning Hiltrud to our side would be of huge benefit.
"I have already discussed the invite with the Crofters Foundation and NFU and have every confidence she will be given quality, useful information by Scotland's farmers. It throws into stark contrast the fact that some UK politicians would sooner fulminate in the letters pages of the Scottish press, but I'm getting on with the job and making Scotland's case in Brussels."

Mr Smith's briefing paper