ONE of the SNP’s three MEPs yesterday celebrated a 'European double' when she was appointed to two parliamentary committees.
First published in The National, 11 July 2019
As well as taking her place as a full member on the European Parliament’s prestigious Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI), Dr Aileen McLeod also joined the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO).
As Scotland’s former Environment and Climate Change Minister, McLeod believes she is ideally placed to work with fellow MEPs from across the continent to secure ambitious, European-wide climate change targets with co-ordinated action by the EU to meet them.
ENVI is the biggest committee in the European Parliament for the first time with 76 members, which indicates that climate is an absolute priority in this new mandate.
McLeod said: “Tackling the climate emergency will be the biggest issue for the new European Parliament. During the recent European election campaign, the SNP made a commitment to pushing for an EU-wide Green New Deal in response to the climate emergency we face and to pressing the EU to do more to protect our planet and our environment. I look forward to taking forward that agenda.
“Only by working together with our European friends to tackle our common challenges can we hope to have any success. Leaving the EU threatens that collaboration and I will do everything I can to stop Brexit.”
AFCO, the other committee on which McLeod will serve, has played a crucial role in the Brexit negotiations, gathering evidence on the options available for the future EU-UK relationship. It is the lead committee for giving the Parliament’s consent to the Withdrawal Agreement.
McLeod said: “AFCO has been conducting serious research and has consistently put citizens’ rights at the heart of the Brexit issue. AFCO is a great opportunity to get Scotland’s voice recognised on the European and global stage. I can think of no better way to prepare the European Parliament, and the EU, for an independent Scotland taking our rightful place as a full member of the EU.”