ISLES MSP CONDEMNS AMENDMENTS AS A ‘CLEAR THREAT’ TO THE INDUSTRY

Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar has condemned the UK Government’s amendments to the Withdrawal Bill, tabled this week at Westminster, which he said represent a ‘clear threat’ to the islands’ fishing industry.

The latest Tory amendments to the Withdrawal Bill would prevent the Scottish Parliament legislating to protect fishing communities for up to seven years – with Westminster being able to dictate how to manage Scotland’s fisheries.

This comes in the backdrop of the UK Government’s Brexit transition deal, which would keep the fishing industry within the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) without any voting rights over how the policy develops until 2020.

Alasdair Allan MSP said:

“The amendments tabled to Westminster this week to the Withdrawal Bill from the Tories are the latest in a long line of actions, which show a blatant disregard for Scottish devolution and Scottish democracy.

“Of particular concern here in the islands is the indifference the UK Government shows to our fishing industry. Just a few weeks ago the Tories let the cat out of the bag, that we would remain in the CFP after Brexit with no seat at the table in negotiations. Despite the wild promises of the Brexiteers in the UK Government, under Tory plans there will be no taking back control of Scottish waters, no influence in fishery reforms, no say in quotas.

“It is clear that the UK Government consider one of our vital industries here in the islands as ‘expendable’ – their desire to legislate over this industry, without the consent of the democratically elected Parliament of Scotland is a very clear and present threat to the industry.

“The Tories are isolated on this issue in Scotland, in light of cross-party condemnation of these amendments. They must think again, and allow Scotland the power to legislate over this vital industry.”

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