Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan has raised concerns about the future of the Scottish fishing industry, following the publication of the UK Government’s White Paper on Brexit.
The 77-page document contains only one paragraph on fishing, which speaks of the “heavy reliance on UK waters of the EU fishing industry” and the need to “reach a mutually beneficial deal”.
Dr Allan said: “The Tories sold out the Scottish fishing industry in the 70s, and there are real fears they could be planning to do so again. Theresa May set off alarm bells when she spoke of Spanish fishermen in her keynote speech on Brexit and now the UK Government’s own White Paper on Brexit has given the clearest sign yet that the Prime Minister is preparing to use Scottish fishing stocks as an expendable bargaining chip.”
He added: “There is no doubt that the Common Fisheries Policy has been disastrous to the Scottish fishing industry. During the EU referendum, the leave campaign told us that voting to leave the EU would result in leaving the CFP. It would be ironic to say the least if the only aspect of our relationship with Europe to survive Brexit was the least popular bit – the Common Fisheries Policy.
“The UK Government urgently need to provide assurances that Scotland’s fishermen’s interests will not be put to the bottom of the UK’s list of negotiating priorities again.”