SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today expressed his concern over the vote by the European Parliament's International Trade Committee which recommended that the European Parliament gives its consent to the inclusion of a new protocol on agriculture and fisheries in the EU-Morocco trade agreement.
The European Parliament's Agriculture Committee (of which Alyn is a member) also voted on an opinion report in December, and recommended that the Parliament should withhold its consent.
The report is now set to be voted on by the whole Parliament at the February plenary session in Strasbourg. Parliament's consent is required for the trade deal to be agreed.
"The EU has not only repeatedly and consistently ignored the plight of the people of Western Sahara but has, on occasion, actively colluded with the plunder of their resources.
"We in Europe should be far more aggressive in pushing our production methods and our values in global and bilateral trade talks. While I am philosophically in favour of free trade, I am not convinced that it will solve all of the world's problems; it must be accompanied by strong support for social, environmental and human rights as well as economic development.
"The European Parliament must not accept an agreement that fails to recognise the rights of the people of Western Sahara, including the right to self-determination. The resident Saharawi people should once again be able to benefit from their natural and most important sources of income."