Hypocrisy over retained fire-fighters

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today reacted
angrily to Lib Dem comments regarding the European Parliament's recent
vote on the Working Time Directive.

Mr Smith has labelled recent
comments by Alastair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland, as rank
hypocrisy and political opportunism at its worst, considering that
Scotland's only Liberal Democrat MEP, Elspeth Attwoll, voted to end the
UK's opt-out from the Working Time Directive after three years.

Mr Smith said:

"For
Alastair Carmichael to start referring to "unintended consequences" now
is bordering on the ridiculous. It was quite apparent, well before the
vote, that this would be the consequence. Had he felt so strongly about
the difficulties that Scotland's retained fire-fighters would be facing then perhaps he should have worked a little
harder in trying to persuade his own Lib Dem colleague in the European
Parliament to vote against the amendment that ended our opt-out.

"This
is nothing short of rank hypocrisy and political opportunism at its
worst, but the Lib Dems have been caught short on this one. Their
opportunism is not matched by their knowledge of this issue.


"Now the vote has passed there can be no denying that we are facing
difficulties but we also have three years to find a way and I remain
confident that the Scottish Government will do so."