14 September 2016

Stevenson Calls for Conservatives to Hand Fisheries Negotiations to Scotland

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, has called on the Conservative UK Government to let Scotland lead on fisheries negotiations and allow significant local input.

Mr Stevenson spoke in a Parliamentary debate on the implications of the EU Referendum result and the UK negotiating position. Stevenson stressed the importance of access to the EU single market and free movement of people for the fishing sector.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“Westminster is woefully out of touch with the needs of Scottish fishing. The Conservatives claim to have the economic interest of Scotland at heart, but that just isn't true. If that was true, they wouldn't be attempting to take us out of the EU single market or the free movement of people. Both are essential to maintaining our exports and their actions are a damning indictment of their economic policies.

"The Common Fisheries Policy has never been good for us. I agree with the Scottish Fisherman's Federation that we need fairer shares of catching opportunities within our own waters. I also recognise that it is incredibly frustrating to our own fishermen that we can suspend fishing in an area of our own interest, but other nations' boats can continue to fish in those areas.

"The Conservatives put Scottish fishing into the CFP , therefore I highly doubt their ability or sincerity in protecting the interest of Scottish fishing. The Scottish Government and the local fishing communities have the expertise, knowledge and motivation to get the best deal for our fishing sector. If there is a genuine desire to do that- then hand it over. We're ready and so is the industry."

Stewart Stevenson
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