SNP Westminster Transport spokesperson and MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Angus Brendan MacNeil has rebutted the attack from the Lib Dems surrounding the coastguard tugs. The funding of the Emergency Towing Vessels is a reserved matter.
Mr MacNeil said:
“This is a very weak attack from the Liberals that only shows their Achilles’ heel.
“The Lib Dems are attacking the SNP for an issue that is solely reserved to the UK Government under the Scotland Act.
“While we in the SNP have been trying to get more powers to the Scots Parliament specifically to address matters such as maritime safety the Lib Dems have been voting them down at every turn.
“Earlier this year we tabled an amendment to the Scotland Bill that would have devolved control over the Coastguard to the Scots Government. All 11 Lib Dems MPs from Scotland voted with the Tories; against us.
“So we all know now that this just a thin attempt to distract everyone from the fact they are propping up the Tories in London.
“To see the Lib Dems attacking the SNP for an issue that is surrounded by uncertainty due to Tory-Lib Dem cuts is staggering.
“The long-term future of the Emergency Towing Vessels is paramount; it is disappointing to see the Lib Dems playing party politics on such an important issue.
“There is a simple answer to this and that is by allowing Scotland to control our own affairs, but, while we wait for this day, let’s get on with securing the long-term future of our Emergency Towing Vessels.”
Record of the vote: