Banff and Buchan MSP warns Scotland's fisheries set for Tory sell-out

Stewart Stevenson says rather than following through on their pledge of a 'sea of opportunity', the Tories are instead serving the fishing industry up as bait.
Stewart Stevenson says rather than following through on their pledge of a 'sea of opportunity', the Tories are instead serving the fishing industry up as bait.

Stewart Stevenson MSP has warned that the vital fisheries sector is set for a Tory Brexit sell-out, after a number of EU states made clear that fishing quotas and access to waters must be on the table and up for negotiation before any final deal can be reached.

Despite pledging a "sea of opportunity" for Scotland’s fishing communities, the MSP has warned that the Tories are instead “serving the fishing industry up as bait.”

Following a meeting with EU ministers, Denmark’s fisheries minister said access to UK waters “should be a part of it (UK-EU trade deal)… and also the signals we get from the Commission is that they see it like that as well.”

Yesterday, the Spanish minister stated that “Progress can only be made on the trade deal if in parallel we have advanced on the fisheries agreement, which is very important.”

“For Spain, this is a fundamental question.”

Stewart Stevenson, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, said: “In the first week of the new Parliament, the Tories are already lining up a sell-out of Scotland’s vital fisheries sector for their own narrow party interests.

“Rather than following through on their pledge of a 'sea of opportunity', the Tories are instead serving the fishing industry up as bait.

“The remarks from both Denmark and Spain make clear that access to Scottish waters and fishing quotas must be on the table for negotiation before any Brexit trade deal can be agreed.

“And with the Tory government planning to make it illegal for Parliament to extend the transition period beyond the end of next year – ramping up the risk of a No-Deal exit – it’s clear that the Tories cannot be trusted to stand up for our crucial fishing and agriculture sectors.”