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18 June 2014

Tories Continue to Argue for Less Fisheries Funds for Scotland

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has joined other SNP MSPs in stating that Scotland’s fishing communities would be better off in an independent Scotland.

This was a response Tory MSP’s Jamie McGrigor’s statement at General Questions in the Scottish Parliament arguing that it would be wrong for fishing communities in Scotland to receive more money from the UK’s share of the European Fisheries Fund. It follows comments from newly-elected Tory MEP Ian Duncan that the Scottish fishing industry is too successful to require additional support.

Currently Scotland receives only 40 per cent of the UK share of the EU fisheries Fund, despite landing more than 80 per cent of fish caught in UK waters.

Mr Stevenson said:

“These comments from Jamie McGrigor are an insult to fishing communities across Scotland including those around my constituency of the Banffshire and Buchan Coast. That Mr McGrigor would rather defend Westminster’s failings than stand up for Scotland’s fishing industry speaks volumes about where his priorities lie.

“The fact is that Scotland’s fishing industry has been badly let down by Westminster. We currently receive the second lowest fish catch funding per tonne in the EU, with just 40 per cent of the UK’s share of the European Fisheries Fund despite landing more than 80 per cent of fish caught in UK waters.

“After a Yes vote Scotland will have our own seat at the top table in Europe – allowing us to speak up for our fishing industry not talk it down and get a better deal for Scotland’s fishing communities – rather than leaving it up to a distant Westminster government which simply doesn’t represent Scotland’s interests.”

Information from the Scottish Parliament Library also shows that Scotland gets a raw deal from the European Fisheries Fund as part of the UK, receiving the second lowest amount per tonne of average fish catch.
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