3 August 2017

UK Tory Minister Gove Caught Out Over Fishy Danish Brexit Tale

DEFRA Secretary Promises Continued Danish Access to British Waters

The SNP has urged the UK Government to clarify its position on fisheries, after it emerged that Michael Gove told Danish fishermen that they will have continued access to UK and Scottish waters even after the UK leaves the EU. It has been reported that Michael Gove told the Danish fishermen that they “will still be able to catch large amounts of fish in British waters, even if the British leave the EU.” Yet, just a few weeks ago, Gove was in North East Scotland promising a “sea of opportunity” for Scottish fishermen.

This apparent u-turn is just the latest in a series of recent Tory muddles on Brexit related issues. And now with it looking increasingly likely that they will continue a near half century of selling out Scottish fishing, Mr Gove has been urged to clarify what Brexit will actually mean.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell has also faced accusations in recent days that he is simply telling people what they want to hear on Brexit – despite warning before the EU referendum that the idea that a post-Brexit UK would go back to entirely controlling its own waters was “not realistic.”

Commenting, SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, said:

“These are startling revelations on the Tories’ true position over fisheries post-Brexit. And show what we long suspected – that you cannot trust the Tories to stand up for rural Scotland’s interests.

“They might well be trying to keep voters and fishermen sweet at home with all sorts of promises – yet Michael Gove is jet-setting around Europe reassuring EU members that there’ll be nothing of the sort.

“The reports, if true, show the Tories are not being straight with people and will do and say anything in order to force through their disastrous, ill-conceived Brexit plans.

“Michael Gove must immediately make absolutely clear what the UK government’s real position on the future of fisheries is. He could start by confirming that devolved powers over fisheries will transfer to Scotland so that we can get on with developing our own management policies which put Scottish fishing interests offshore and onshore, first.

“It is simply too important an industry for too many of our communities, particularly in my constituency, for him to continue promising one thing in public at home whilst saying the complete opposite in private to international audiences.”

Stewart Stevenson
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