My, my, Brian Monteith really has got his knickers in a twist with regard to that one answer to six questions from UK Minister for Europe David Lidington (Perspective, 1 July).
Mr Monteith writes: “Are we to take it that the First Minister believes we should run what is tantamount to an aggressive naval operation so Scotland can bully its way into the European club that was designed to ensure peace across the continent?”
What absolute tosh. In case he has forgotten, let me remind him what happened to Scotland’s fishing industry when Spain and Portugal were given free rein to raid our coastal waters in 1986 by the EU.
The fishing sectors of Scotland, and other northern countries, were systematically run down to make way for the incomers.
The effect on Scotland of that piratical Brussels policy was disastrous for hundreds of thousands of people connected to the Scottish fishing industry.
So, Mr Monteith, please have a rethink on who exactly you think is to blame for that and stop denigrating anyone who is not of your own political persuasion.
Recent threats from the SNP government that an independent Scotland could block Spanish and Portuguese fishing vessels from gaining access to the North Sea disclose two clear facts.
Firstly, the only way Scotland could block foreign fishing vessels out of the North Sea would be if we were an accession state, waiting in line to join the EU, giving us full sovereignty over our waters.
This is a clear acknowledgement from the SNP government that despite all its previous denials, it does now accept this to be the true situation; Scotland will be an accession rather than a succession state, joining a queue of countries seeking EU membership, a process that can take several years.
Secondly, it has repeatedly assured us that our transition into full EU membership would be a smooth, trouble-free process and that with our oil, whisky and vast fishing resources we would be welcomed overnight as a new member state. Now it appears the government is contemplating the need to issue threats to other EU nations in a bid to blackmail them into giving Scotland whatever terms of entry it asks for.
The entire scenario once again highlights the SNP government’s state of total confusion and deliberate deception over its policy of “independence in Europe”.
Struan Stevenson MEP
The European Parliament