SNP on Electoral Commission MEP Recommendations

31 July 2007
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has expressed his disappointment with the final recommendations from the Electoral Commission on MEP numbers for the 2009 elections.

The Commission is recommending that the number of MEPs for Scotland be cut from seven to six despite strong support for the retention of seven Scottish MEPs.

Speaking from Inverness Mr Smith said:

"I am very disappointed with the recommendations from the Electoral Commission and will now be taking the matter up with Jack Straw.

"Scotland is uniquely suffering under these recommendations having seen our representation cut in 2004.

"Scotland has separate institutions including our Parliament, our legal system and our education system that need strong European representation.

"That we are seeing a further degradation of representation in Europe is deeply unsatisfactory.

"I will be liaising with my colleagues in the European Parliament, atWestminster and with Linda Fabiani, the Minister for Europe to see what further action we can take.

"It is clear the Commission was tied by legislation but there has obviously been strong support for retaining Scotland's MEPs including support shown by the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Government and awide range of Scottish organisations.

"The Electoral Commission says it has expressed Scotland's concerns to the Secretary of State for Justice and I hope that this will lead to a review in time to prevent any cut not only in 2009 but further into the future.

"It is a disgrace that Scotland is in this position yet again and one I hope our new Scottish Prime Minister will seek to remedy"