I walked past the Foreign Office the other day when I was in London and it made me wonder when my excellent local MP, Andy Sawford, might get a reply to his letter to them about ‘Maltese spring slaughter’. I found a letter waiting for me on my return.
The letter is almost identical to the one posted on this blog earlier in the week from the British High Commission in Malta – how foolish of me to think that I might catch them out, errr, I mean ‘get a different slant on things’, by asking the same question twice to two bits of the Foreign Office! The Civil Service is pretty good at this type of thing, I have to admit.
This letter was signed by the Minister for Europe, the Right Hon David Lidington MP.
There are a few minor differences but I won’t rehearse them here as they are, as far as I can see, trivial.
This phrase, in both letters, may be quite telling ‘The impact of spring hunting in Malta on wildlife in the UK has not been conclusively investigated’. This is a strange phrase but I guess it is supposed to mean that slaughtering birds on Malta might not have an impact on birds in the UK. And your point is? The Foreign Office and the UK government doesn’t care about European wildlife as a whole? Well, I do and I suspect that so do many other UK voters.
Mr Lidington does suggest that I, and by extension you, might like to write to my (your) MEPs on the subject. I’ll be doing that, for sure, but not until after 1 July which is when the newly elected batch of MEPs take up their seats alongside the survivors of the old Parliament.
The new European Parliament will have the following numbers of UK MEPs (with their previous numbers in brackets): UKIP 24 (13), Labour 20 (13), Conservative 19 (25), Green 3 (2), Scottish Nationalists 2 (2), Sinn Fein, Democratic Unionist, Plaid Cymru and Ulster Unionist all 1 (all 1) and Liberal Democrat 1 (11) – oh yes and BNP 0 (2).
I am sorry to see some very good Liberal Democrats lose their seats including Bill Newton-Dunn in my own EU constituency of East Midlands. I didn’t vote for Bill but I have been more impressed by his replies to letters etc than by those of any other MEP with whom I have had contact. He appeared to be a very good MEP – and the longest-serving one from the UK, and I wish him well in whatever he chooses to do next.
Thank you again to Andy Sawford for extracting this letter from the Foreign Office – it is much appreciated.