Anger over EU fish deal

Jeane Freeman - SNP - Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley'May 2016.
Jeane Freeman - SNP - Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley'May 2016.

The UK Government stands accused of selling out the Scottish fishing industry following the deal struck this week.

The EU will continue to control UK fishing waters for the next two years, without having a representative round the table, and Carrick, Cumnock and Doon MSP Jeane Freeman (SNP) is angry that promises made as recently as last week by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, have come to nothing.

“The Tories have sold out the fishing communities here and across Scotland once again – and Ruth Davidson should be shame-faced for her fastest broken Brexit promise yet.

“Just last week she said ‘Britain will leave the Common Fisheries Policy as of March 2019’.

“Now we know not only will the UK have to abide by CFP rules during the transition period, it will lose the voting rights it has now. The Tories have delivered the worst possible outcome for Scotland’s fishing industry.

“The Tories have demonstrated once again that for them that our local fishing communities are expendable.

“They are so arrogant they now think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it.”

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson last week said that “Britain will leave the CFP as of March 2019”, and Brexit supporter Michael Gove previously said that there would be “a specific transition period for fishing of nine or ten months”.

But the draft terms of the Brexit transition deal show the UK government has agreed to abide by CFP rules for the whole of the transition period, which ends in December 2020.

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation Bertie Armstrong said: “This falls far short of an acceptable deal. We will leave the EU and leave the CFP, but hand back sovereignty over our seas a few seconds later. Our fishing communities’ fortunes will still be subject to the whim and largesse of the EU for another two years.”

“Put simply, we do not trust them to look after us.

“So we issue this warning to the EU: be careful what you do or the consequences later will be severe.

“To our politicians we say this: some have tried to secure a better deal but our governments have let us down.

“As a consequence, we expect a written, cast iron guarantee that after the implementation period, sovereignty will mean sovereignty and we will not enter into any deal which gives any other nation or the EU continued rights of access or quota other than those negotiated as part of the annual Coastal States negotiations.”