Thursday 15 April 2004

Oil is next

Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson is continuing with his campaign against the EU's fishing policy:
A FUTURE Conservative government in Westminster would remove Britain from the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) regardless of opposition from the Scottish Executive.

Struan Stevenson, a Tory Party MEP, will tonight claim that the party would have no other option given that the Labour and Liberal Democrat coalition has shown themselves "unable" to represent Scottish fishermen in Brussels.

The pro-EU Scottish Nationalists don't like the idea of a Westminster role in fishing matters:
Richard Lochhead, the SNP’s fisheries spokesman, admitted that the CFP was outdated, but insisted Scotland rather than Westminster should have control of its fisheries.
Of course what Mr Lochhead wants is for fishing to be controlled "democratically", as long as the democratic controllers are Scottish. Politicians are the problem, not the solution. What is needed is for the fishing grounds to be privatised under the initial ownership of those fishermen who traditionally operated in the waters concerned.

I have said before that I want to know what exactly the Conservatives will do when Brussels inevitably refuses to "repatriate" fishing policy.

More importantly, what would a future Conservative government do about the takeover of our oilfields that would follow the adoption of the new EU constitution? Scots are very angry at the political betrayal of our fishing industry. That's understandable. But the oil industry, while less glamorous than fishing, is vastly more important to the Scottish economy. The Tories really do have to start planning for our eventual departure from the EU.