SNP MEP on European Commission Approval

18 November 2004
"Looking forward to getting on with working with Commission for Scotland"

Scottish National Party MEP Mr Alyn Smith has today (Thursday) written to the vote in the European Parliament this afternoon to approve the 25-person European Commission. As he predicted yesterday, the European Parliament approved the Commission with a large majority. Mr Smith voted against. Speaking in Strasbourg, Mr Smith said:

"I'm still of the view that the 'nuclear or nothing' procedure is just plain daft. You do not interview 25 different people for 25 different jobs and then make only one decision to back them all or sack them all. At 449 votes in favour; 149 against and 82 abstentions there may have been a solid majority for the Commission, but there was nobody voting for them enthusiastically.

"That said, I will of course accept the decision and get on with fighting for Scotland now the Commissioners are confirmed in post. I have just got a letter away to the Commissioner for Regional Development Danuta Huebner asking for a meeting to discuss Scotland's EU funding and threats to it from proposals of the London government. In interview I thought she was excellent, and will make a fine Commissioner. Throughout this last few weeks, and through this process I have consistently said how much I am looking forward to seeing her confirmed in post, and voted against the Commission this afternoon with some regret.

"Of course, the whole meeting was hijacked by the usual UKIP muppet show. For a shower with little to say they make an awful lot of noise saying it.