2 February 2017

Tories gearing up to sell out fishing... again

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford, and Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson have condemned the UK Government’s weak commitment to the Scottish fishing industry in its White Paper to leave the European Union.

The White Paper, just 75 pages long, was published today following the UK Government’s victory in the Commons on Wednesday night.

Speaking after the publication, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“The paper published today confirms what many in my constituency have feared, that the potential opportunities of leaving the CFP will be watered down as fishing interests become a bargaining chip in wider trade negotiations.

“The SNP has been consistent in opposition to the CFP, and that remains our position. The UK Government, in contrast, has consistently negotiated poor deals for the industry. The Conservatives could have articulated tough demands for the benefit of our industry in its White Paper – instead, there’s a mealy-mouthed commitment to a ‘mutually beneficial deal’.

“The Tories sold out the Scottish fishing industry going into the EU. The danger is it will now betray it on the way out.”

Stewart Stevenson added:

“The White Paper shows more than ever that the UK Tory Government is just itching to use Scottish fishing to bargain for London’s financial sector. It’s there in black and white. The Tories will make Scottish fishermen pay the price for their negotiations.

“This is a complete betrayal of Scotland’s interest – making the white paper’s claim to secure Scotland’s interest not worth the paper it’s written on. The real danger under the Tories that only part of the EU we do not leave is - the Common Fisheries Policy.

“The only champion of our fishing is the SNP, the Tories will pretend right up until they’ve sold us out – again. There are huge opportunities for our coastal communities, these communities have the chance to thrive – but that won’t happen if we let the Tories have their way.”

Stewart Stevenson
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