Local fishermen ‘sold out’ by Brexit deal

Brendan O'Hara in the House of Commons questioning Michael Gove, Environment Secretary on the latest CFP announcement
Brendan O'Hara in the House of Commons questioning Michael Gove, Environment Secretary on the latest CFP announcement

“The Tories have sold out Scottish fishing yet again and abandoned their promises to the industry,” says local MP Brendan O’Hara.

The SNP Member of Parliament for Argyll and Bute spoke out on the UK’s decision taken last week to remain in the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy until the end of the Brexit transaction period in December 2020.

Mr O’Hara was angry at this news, given that Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson had the previous week said that Britain will leave the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) as of March 2019. While Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, had previously said that there would be “a specific transition period for fishing of nine or 10 months”.

Reacting to the Brexit deal the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation said: “This falls far short of an acceptable deal. Put simply, we do not trust them to look after us.”

Commenting, Mr O’Hara said:“The Tories have sold out the fishing communities in Argyll and Bute once again – and Ruth Davidson should be shame-faced for her fastest broken Brexit promise yet. Just last week she said ‘Britain will leave the CFP as of March 2019’.

“Now we know not only will the UK have to abide by CFP rules during the transition period, it will lose the voting rights it has now. The Tories have delivered the worst possible outcome for Scotland’s fishing industry.

“The Tories have demonstrated once again that for them, fishing communities here in Argyll and Bute and the rest of Scotland are expendable and that’s why in the House last week I accused Michael Gove of betraying the Scottish fishing industry once again and the Scottish Tory MPs, who promised to take the UK out of the CFP, being ‘done up like a kipper’.

“We need to know why he has signed us up to a policy that in his words, has being disastrous, for another two years and on worse terms than we currently have.

“Michael Gove should need no reminding that it was a Tory Government who sold out Scottish Fishermen in 1973 when we first joined the Common Fisheries Policy.

“The SNP are the only party who have consistently called for stronger stance to protect our vital local industries. The Scottish fishing industry, vital to so many coastal communities, was used as a bargaining chip for UK membership of the EEA all those years ago and here we are again, sold out by the Tories.”

Despite repeated requests the UK Government declined the opportunity to comment.