EU talks snub makes mockery of pledges to Scotland
Please find below the text of a letter from First Minister Alex Salmond to Prime Minister David Cameron, issued late yesterday evening, on the UK Government confirming its refusal to allow Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead to lead negotiations on behalf of the Scottish fishing industry at key talks today at an EU fisheries council meeting in Brussels.
This afternoon (Sun Nov 9th) I received confirmation via your officials that you are continuing in your refusal to allow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, to speak at the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council tomorrow in Brussels.
It is simply absurd that you are placing the interests of this vital Scottish industry in the hands of an unelected peer, allowing him to make representations on areas in which he has absolutely no experience or prior involvement, rather than the Cabinet Secretary who has over 7 years of experience.
Not only does this break your personal undertakings given in 2010, it makes a total mockery of your more recent pledges to Scotland during the Referendum campaign.
Richard Lochhead will be in Brussels for the Council meeting and remains ready to take on leadership of the delegation in the fisheries talks and only for the fisheries talks.
Your government has already demonstrated why it cannot be relied upon in EU negotiations. I again ask you to redeem your previous undertakings on an area of key importance to Scotland.