MEP condemns cowardly Cal Mac decision

15 September 2005
"This just shows the weakness of this Scottish Executive when it comes to Europe"


Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith today condemned the Scottish Parliament's decision to back the tender of Caledonian MacBrayne. Commenting after Labour, the Liberals and the Conservatives agreed to tender the island services Mr Smith, who watched the debate, said

"I am extremely disappointed and can not see the sense in this decision at all. Those in the Executive who rebelled last time, and the Conservatives who opposed the move have now backed exactly the same package they rejected in December. Nothing has changed.

"There are no new guarantees to workers rights and no improvements offered to services. The Minister himself admitted the costs of tendering are inefficient and the service will not improve. He even seemed to confess that he didn't want to put the tender out.

"If he really was opposed to the tender Tavish Scott and his Lib Dem and Labour cronies would have defended the right of the Western Isles of Scotland to high quality, efficient, safe and frequent ferry services. "There were options open to the Executive that they either didn't look at or wouldn't follow, all of which offered them an alternative. Their behaviour on this issue has been disgraceful."