United Front on Eve of Pesticides Battle

12 January 2009
SNP MEP Mr Alyn Smith has reiterated his commitment to seeing a sensible compromise coming out of tomorrow's crunch vote on the Plant Protection Products Report. The vote is hugely important for Scottish agriculture as it would see a considerable reduction in the number of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides available to farmers and producers.

Mr Smith is calling on his colleagues to support the amendments which he put down jointly with colleagues in the European Parliament, including Neil Parish, Chairman of the Agriculture Committee. Alyn has supported a letter sent today by Neil Parish to all MEPs, urging them to see sense and support the amendments to the package which Mr Smith believes will add a substantial degree of flexibility to the regulation, as well as asking them to reject the compromise package.

Mr Smith said:

"This dossier has been unsatisfactory from the start but the only way we are going to be successful is to keep chipping away at it.

"The compromise on the table does not provide the flexibility that I want to see added to the regulation and, although it is still an improvement on what we had before, I will not support it and I will be actively encouraging my colleagues to reject it also.

"The amendments that we have tabled address the main concerns that I have with the package and I join Neil in requesting that my colleagues recognise what this regulation will do to Europe's agricultural sector if it passes unamended and to therefore support our line."