Choic e, not compulsion is best for consumers

SIR - Some of the more bizarre views expressed by Graham Watson, the Lib Dem MEP for the South West are, as often as not, greeted with cynical laughter by his Parliamentary colleagues. For example, his strong republican sympathies in supporting the abol

SIR - Some of the more bizarre views expressed by Graham Watson, the Lib Dem MEP for the South West are, as often as not, greeted with cynical laughter by his Parliamentary colleagues.

For example, his strong republican sympathies in supporting the abolition of the Monarchy must seem rather odd to his compatriots in the Scottish Government.

Very recently, however, he has excelled himself with a speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg extolling the benefits to worldwide consumer protection of encouraging all of our citizens to stop eating meat.

I've heard this idea suggested in the context of climate change policy as a way to cut CO2 emissions but this really takes the biscuit. Come off it, Graham. You have surely represented the South West for long enough to learn how important the livestock industry is to our regional economy. And don't you think telling people to give up eating meat is a wee bit illiberal?

As a vegetarian myself, I nonetheless firmly believe in choice over compulsion as the best way of consumer protection.

Giles Chichester MEP

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Conservative MEP for South West England and Gibraltar

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