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Letters / ‘We need to vote tactically’ (European Parliament elections)

Shetland has benefited more than most places in the UK from being in the EU, in regards to capital funding and subsidies.

You don’t have to look far to see evidence of the good EU funding has done here. Blue plaques are everywhere; on piers, buildings, tourist paths etc.

There are also hidden benefits such as college research funding, educational exchange programmes and farm subsidies. It has been estimated that Shetland has received over half a billion pounds from the EU.

It is very worrisome that the UK Government refuses to answer the Scottish Government’s questions on what funding is going to replace EU funding.

What people really need to remember is that Shetland, and other rural places across the UK, were given EU subsidies because they were perceived, by the EU, to be areas of deprivation.

Rural places were deprived areas precisely because Westminster paid no attention to them and starved them of funding.

We are now about to return to the situation we were in before the EU started distributing funds to rural areas and hand the purse back to the very people who deprived us in the first place. Westminster ignores the north of its own country let alone Scotland, and we are much further away.

In the EU elections, Scotland’s votes are separate from the UK. There are only six MEP seats available. Seats are decided on proportional representation not areas.

Lib Dems, with only seven per cent of the vote, will not get a seat in Scotland. Voting Lib Dem is, therefore, a wasted vote in here. Not voting at all will only favour the Brexit Party.

Gina Miller, of Remain United, explains this well: “With the remain vote in effect divided between up to five parties – Change UK, the Lib Dems, Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SNP – Farage will be able to take victory for granted unless the playing field is levelled out.

“He and his rightwing backers know only too well that winning a sweep of MEP seats will be interpreted as a mandate for the Brexiteers, as they set about implementing the most extreme political ideology seen in this country in living memory.”

She advocates voting for LibDem in England and SNP in Scotland.

We need to vote tactically and send a very strong message to Westminster that Scotland does not want Brexit. If you are pro EU, vote SNP and have your voice heard.

Angela Sutherland