Fears of another sell-out of the fishing industry grew this week with the publication of the UK Government’s White Paper on leaving the EU.
Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Fisheries Working Group and Fraserburgh SNP councillor Charles Buchan said the brief mention of fishing in the White Paper, which has only 75 pages, gave him great concern that the UK Government was gearing-up to repeat the sell-out of the fishing industry first perpetrated in the 1970s.
Cllr Buchan said: “I’m very uneasy about what has been announced in the Tory Government’s White Paper and I know that the Prime Minister’s comment last week about Spanish fishermen has made many people in the industry fearful about what may be coming down the line.
“The bottom line here is that the UK is leaving the EU and I fully support efforts to make the best possible deal from that situation as we can.
"The SNP has long-argued to leave the CFP and that will be extremely beneficial to the industry – it represents a “sea of opportunity” as the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation have said.
“What we don’t want or need is for that opportunity to be traded away by the Conservative Government as it did in 1972 because it thinks it can safely use fishing as a bargaining chip in its negotiations. The pronouncements of the last few days from Westminster make me very fearful we are about to see history repeat itself and we must stop that from happening for the sake of our coastal communities.”