Unexpected Progress On EID In Brussels

01 December 2009
SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today hailed the warm support received for the anti EID campaignin a meeting of the European Parliament's Petitions Committee.

The Petitions Committee agrees with Mr Smith's point that there remain grave doubts over the practical implications of the implementation of the controversial individual ID regulation, and that the issue should be referred urgently to the Agriculture Committee for an opinion on the matter and could see a full Parliament debate on the implications of the package in the full Parliament as early as January.

Smith spoke in support of the primary petitioners, the National Sheep Association's George Milne and Nigel Miller from NFUS, who outlined their continued concerns to the Committee that even after some amendment there remain real concerns over a number of practical aspects of the implementation.

Speaking after the meeting Smith said:

"This was an unexpected hit, I'll be honest I had expected a pretty lukewarm response from the Committee given that we are now barely 30 days from the implementation deadline, but I was delighted that they accepted my case that we should turn the spirit of the petition into a call for a review, with teeth, of how the implementation works out.

"I remain of the view that this package will not do what it says on the tin, and while I am glad that we have scored some successes in chipping out some of the more awkward provisions, I still feel that this needs more work. As we look to the implementation deadline it is clear that there remain real concerns, and real question marks, over how this will work. This can hardly be said to be good regulation. The Commission official present admitted to the meeting that this package has been discussed three times in the Council of Ministers, with by my count 14 states now expressing unease at what it will actually mean in practice.

"As I said in the meeting, the states have not brought this up because they are happy with it, quite the reverse. I look forward to the Agriculture Committee and Petitions Committee overseeing a review of the implementation, and where we find fault with how it works in practice I'm more confident now than I was this morning that we will indeed be able to ram home changes to it.

"I promised I would not let this issue rest, and will keep on worrying it until we can either live with it or we defeat it altogether."