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4 January 2017

Local MSP Secures Debate on SFF 'A Sea of Opportunity' Campaign

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson, has secured a Parliamentary Members’ debate on the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation’s (SFF) ‘A Sea of Opportunity’ campaign.

Mr Stevenson secured cross party support for a Members’ debate on the points made by the SFF ‘A Sea of Opportunity’ campaign. The motion draws attention to the opportunities that will emerge for Scotland’s coastal communities resulting from full control of fishing in the offshore economic zone. The motion continues by emphasising the assertion by the SFF – that UK fishing interests can be best protected by allowing a minister from Scotland to lead upcoming Brexit fishing negotiations.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“It’s essential that the Scottish Parliament have these kinds of debates. Scottish fishing has historically been underrepresented in international negotiations – it’s time that ended. It’s time we listen to our fishing communities and this debate is part of that listening process.

“This debate will allow us to discuss how to ensure a thriving, sustainable UK fishing industry. Full control of our coastal waters is an incredible opportunity for our coastal communities – It’s vital we protect that. In December, the Tories refused to unite behind fishing during our annual fisheries debate. They alone, out of five parties in the Scottish Parliament, failed to send UK and Scottish fishing a clear message of support. I hope they use this opportunity to finally unite behind our fishing communities.

“By responding to the ‘Sea of Opportunity’ campaign, the Parliament has the chance to clarify its own position and recognise the role the Scottish Government should have in fishing negotiations. The Scottish Government have made clear that a post-Brexit Scotland should be outside the Common Fisheries Policy but should also have tariff-free access to the European Single Market. The SFF believe it’s important that the Scottish Government have a lead role in future negotiations and I look forward to supporting that position.”
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