SNP stance on Brexit viewed as 'complete betrayal' by fishermen

Mr Chapman says that post-Brexit, the UK will have far greater control over who fishes in North Sea waters and the rules governing catches.
Mr Chapman says that post-Brexit, the UK will have far greater control over who fishes in North Sea waters and the rules governing catches.

The SNP stance on Brexit is viewed as a “complete betrayal” by fishermen in Scotland who voted to leave the EU, the Scottish Conservatives have claimed.

Shadow Rural Economy and Connectivity spokesman Peter Chapman used a parliamentary debate on Sea Fisheries and Year End Negotiations to attack the Nationalists’ position on the EU.

Mr Chapman said that post-Brexit, the UK will have far greater control over who fishes in North Sea waters and the rules governing catches.

Last week, the UK was outvoted in an EU deal to trade away 110,000 tonnes of blue whiting to Norway, a non-member state, at the expense of Scottish fishermen.

However, the SNP wants to retain Scotland’s place within the EU – a position which would mean that fishing policy continues to be dictated by Brussels.

Mr Chapman said: “If the SNP Government position is that we should give away our quota for the benefit of other EU nations, then one has to wonder how they define ‘standing up for Scotland’.

“Scottish fishermen see the future as one outside the EU and the SNP position of staying tied to the EU – even at the cost of a second Independence referendum – is seen as a complete betrayal by the fishermen.”

The North East Region MSP added: “The problem with these negotiations is that the EU has to work on behalf of 28 countries under majority voting.

“It is inevitable that the UK will not always win every fight around that table.

“That is why, when industry leaders talk about the sea of opportunity that Brexit presents I take them seriously.

“We will be a sovereign nation controlling some of the best fishing waters in the world. Our decisions and our trade-offs will be done with the UK’s best interests at heart, not those of EU nations.”