Blair Accused Of Betraying Fishing Industry Fishing Monthly Published: 22 November, 2002
SCOTTISH MEP Struan Stevenson,President of the Euro Parliament’s Fisheries Committee,has accused UK Prime Minister Tony Blair of betraying Scotland’s fishermen by backing calls for drastic cuts.
Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Stevenson
“While all sides of the political divide in the European Parliament
have united behind an emergency resolution to save the UK whitefish
fleet, it is an act of betrayal by the Prime Minister to give
unquestioning support to the Commission’s case for almost total
closure of our fishing industry.
“My resolution demands more scientific evaluation of the reasons why cod have migrated northwards, including an investigation into global warming, North Atlantic Drift and pollution as factors affecting cod stocks other than over-fishing.
“I have also called for significant financial aid for those who may lose their livelihoods as a result of any cuts.
“At the very least, with 20,000 jobs at stake and whole communities threatened with extinction, we had hoped for the support of the Prime Minister.
” But, predictably, instead of raising the British flag,Tony Blair has raised the white flag. His blind acceptance of the Commission’s unjustified position is a hammer blow to our industry
and one from which the industry may not recover.”