ISLANDS’ MSP QUESTIONS TORY “RED LINES ON FISHING” CLAIMS IN SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan earlier today highlighted the need for the Scottish seafood industries to retain tariff and barrier free access to the EU single market. The islands’ MSP had raised a Topical Question in the Scottish Parliament asking for the Scottish Government’s response to the UK Government’s position that the current Brexit deal will guarantee the UK “full, sovereign control over our waters.”

The Prime Minister has claimed in the House of Commons that the deal will remove the UK from the Common Fisheries Policy and allow the country “to decide for ourselves who we allow to fish in our waters.” However, the withdrawal agreement concluded by the UK Government makes an explicit link between future trade agreements and access to waters.

The MSP has highlighted the inconsistencies in the UK Government’s rhetoric with the reality of the withdrawal deal’s contents and noted that the deal risks disrupting lucrative Scottish export sectors like the seafood industry.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:

“It is deeply troubling that the UK Government does not recognise the serious potential to harm our seafood industries. Westminster has given the Scottish Government no role whatsoever in these discussions despite their critical importance to the Scottish economy and to constituencies like my own.

“Island seafood exporters already face enough obstacles as it is in getting their produce to continental markets in time, and the last thing they need is the addition of further barriers to trade. This inept Tory Government have failed to offer any detail on a future trade agreement with Europe post-2020, and there is a very real danger we could see lorry-loads of produce going to waste as drivers sit in enormous queues waiting for customs checks.

“I wholeheartedly agree with the Cabinet Secretary’s comments — to Theresa May, Scottish seafood interests appear to be expendable.”

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