Smith Marks Four Year Anniversary

14 June 2008

Scottish National Party Member of the European Parliament Mr Alyn Smith has marked the fourth anniversary of his election in June 2004 by committing himself to being part of a group of four MEPs after the next election in June 2009.
Smith was elected in the European election held on 10 June 2004 but the result was not announced until the morning of 14 June 2004 given the election took place all over the EU.

Smith's commitment comes in the wake of the news that the UK government intends to cut Scotland's representation in the European Parliament from 7 MEPs currently to 6 MEPs.  6 MEPs will mean that Scotland has the same representation as Malta, though without the votes in the European Council or the representation in the European Commission.  Were Scotland an independent state then Scotland would have 15 MEPs, the same as Denmark now.

Smith said:

"It has been a roller coaster four years, Scottish politics has come a long way.  I'm proud to have played my part and thought long and hard about whether I should put myself forward for re-election, as I think all politicians should be honest about whether they are actually moving things forward or just keeping the seat warm.

"I decided that there remains a lot to do for Scotland in Europe, and that I still have a lot to give.  I have also had a number of successes I'm very proud of.  I have worked with the MSPs, Councillors and MPs like never before to network the European message into our national work.  I have created my internship programme which has seen over 30 bright Scots through the doors, gaining real experience of Brussels, while at home I was voted Honorary President of the Young Scots for Independence.  I brought the EU Commissioner for Energy to Scotland to see our glittering energy potential; I've put down more parliamentary questions than any other Scots MEP; and was nominated in the MEP of the Year awards for my work in bringing EU money to Scotland.

"More recently on the Agriculture Committee I have worked hard and well for Scotland's Agriculture.  So much so that I was appointed Honorary President of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group Scotland, and the National Farmers Union of Scotland described my knowledge of agricultural issues as "second to none".

"I'm proud to be part of a team of seven candidates every one of which I can say hand on heart I would be delighted to serve alongside in Brussels.  I have also examined the numbers and best polling data to hand and I think four out of six seats is, given politics in Scotland today, very much within our grasp.

"The people of Scotland like the work the SNP government has been doing at Holyrood, and like having SNP councillors.  The SNP works as a team across all Chambers and Parliaments, and I'm confident that we have a team the like of which the SNP has never had before.

"I am a candidate in the elections, but until May 2009 meantime am a serving Parliamentarian with a job to do.  If in June 2009 the SNP does not win four out of six seats I will take it as a personal failure."