Brexit talks offer fishermen an opportunity, says MSP Scott

Negotiations over Britain’s departure from the EU present fishing industry leaders with an opportunity, according to Shetland MSP Tavish Scott.

He met representatives of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation in Edinburgh on Monday and held a telephone conversation with executive officer of Shetland Fishermen’s Association, Simon Collins.

Mr Scott said: “The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) does not work. So negotiations over the future are an opportunity. The status quo on fishing policy is wanted by no-one in the industry and few in either the Scottish or UK governments.”

Mr Scott, who last week was handed a place in the Holyrood committee charged with scrutinising how the negotiations were progressing, said the Scottish government must have a minister involved in developing the UK negotiating position.

“That person must understand that fishing wants a new beginning. The fishing industry here look at Norway and see them directly negotiating with the EU. It is no surprise they want the same as a coastal state.

“It is not so much a seat at the top table as a seat at the right table.”

He added: “I will be contacting the Scottish fisheries minister Fergus Ewing to press for a new approach, a new policy, for the industry. That needs to happen irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations which may well take years.”

He added: “I will be contacting the Scottish fisheries minister Fergus Ewing to press for a new approach, a new policy, for the industry.

That needs to happen irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations which may well take years.”

At last week’s First Minister’s Questions, Mr Scott asked Nicola Sturgeon to recognise that many fishing areas had voted to leave the EU based on their experience of the CFP


Add Your Comment
  • john ridland

    • July 4th, 2016 18:47

    Now we,er on our way out off death of a 1000 cuts ,Brexit talks should/will offer everbody
    in the UK a new opportunity,
    Welldone to Nigel and Boris ,Done more for Scotland in 2 months than SNP ,libdem,lab an torys in a 100 years….!

  • John Tulloch

    • July 4th, 2016 22:44

    Well said, Tavish!

    I heard the SNP’s Fergus Ewing on the telly, intimating that, as we sell two thirds of our fish to the EU, we must stay in or rejoin it.

    Setting aside that Europeans are unlikely to stop eating fish because of Brexit, Norway and Iceland enjoy ALL the benefits of the single market, without signing on to the loss of their fishing grounds. They are also exempt from Russian economic sanctions on the EU which have hit Shetland’s fish exporters hard.

    An independent Scotland can have those same “free movement” benefits by simply joining Norway and Iceland in EFTA (European Free Trade Association). The Scottish government’s initiative is a publicity stunt, nothing more.

    We need our politicians to fight for what is best for our country and our people, not sacrifice major industries on the altar of Scottish independence.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • July 5th, 2016 22:47

      What a naive individual you are John….. Are you seriously saying that membership with the EU is ALL about fishing quotas?…. What about workers rights? What about maternity leave? What about holiday pay? What about minimum wage? What about the freedom to live, work and study anywhere within the EU with an open door policy on emigration? What about access to the world’s biggest single market place of 500 million people? What about CAP payments to farmers? What about the 330.000 Scottish jobs directly associated with EU membership? What about the 46% of Scotland’s international exports worth £12.9 billion a year? What about the 173,000 EU nationals living here, enriching our culture, strengthening our society and boosting our economy?

      Whether it’s EFTA or EEA we STILL have to pay for the privilege of free trade. Norway pay roughly the same as the UK and – similarly – have to abide by same EU rules, but WITHOUT a say in the matter. I’m afraid that your one industry, one dimensional thinking, is thankfully NOT shared by the majority of Shetlanders that recognise there is MUCH more to the EU than fishing.

      • John Tulloch

        • July 6th, 2016 10:15

        Robin, are you saying that workers’ rights, minimum wage, etc., would not be protected in an independent Scotland?

        You “rhyme off” a great list of important issues which you claim are exclusive to EU membership. Perhaps, you will be so good as to go through it and highlight to us any that Norwegians do not enjoy?

        I put it to you that Norwegians – and Icelanders – enjoy every single one of those privileges while retaining control of their fishing grounds.

        Norway makes an annual contribution, not to the EU budget, but to developing poorer EU countries, from Greece to the Baltic and pays pro rata i.e. the same as Britain for EU programmes in which they CHOOSE to participate.

        Nothing to stop an independent Scotland doing the same.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • July 6th, 2016 13:57

        Interesting John, I take it from your response that you’re NOW in favour of an independent Scotland? ALL of what you say would indeed be protected by a Scottish government. But – as you know – we are not yet independent. As such, can the UK guarantee all of the above?.. The simply answer is NO, they cannot, not without EU influence and regulation, as we’re now witnessing from the incoming PM [more than likely Theresa May] who would chose to abolish workers rights, and more besides.

        Therefore, I agree with you, an independent Scotland based on similar model as Norway is fine by me. However, while we’re still a part of the UK, then I’d far rather trust the EU to protect workers rights than ANY tory government.

        I think we have to bear in mind that Scotland would have to start from a very different position than Norway. We don’t have the luxury of an oil fund [thanks to the UK] so initial investment and growing our economy is paramount. Scotland retaining EU membership while England bows out, would create a Scottish renaissance as both business and people would head North to their closest EU member state.

      • Ali Inkster

        • July 6th, 2016 16:18

        Workers rights in the case of paid holidays, maternity leave, minimum wage etc etc etc are far better in the UK than EU law allows for, youth unemployment in the UK 13% in the EU up to 50%, so tell me robin just what are the eu protecting and where?

      • ROBERT SIM

        • July 6th, 2016 17:03

        There is no minimum wage in Norway.

      • ian tinkler

        • July 6th, 2016 18:32

        Their is on NHS in Europe!!!

      • Robin Stevenson

        • July 6th, 2016 21:05


        I DO wish people fully understood what the EU actually tries to do? Is it the EU’s fault that countries – like Greece – had an optional tax paying method for the wealthy? Were Italy, Spain, Portugal etc ALL doing really well and decided to ruin their own economies by joining the EU? Why haven’t they left? Why don’t they want to leave? Why has staying in the EU growing since Brexit? Denmark 69% (+9.8%) Finland 68% (+12%) Sweden 52% (+3%). There have always been corrupt governments – some more than others – but IF they choose to be part of the EU then they have to get their own house in order. That’s why Greece are suffering so badly, Syriza were handed a pig in a poke by the outgoing [crooked] Conservative government. They ran up £Billions in debt then buggered off. It isn’t the ordinary Greek worker, it IS the wealthy that don’t pay what they should, [much like many countries] So don’t blame the EU for demanding that they sort out their own mess. Read this, I think you’ll find that it isn’t just me that disbelieves everything written in the British press:

      • Robert Sim

        • July 6th, 2016 21:22

        Ali, you ask ” just what are the eu protecting and where?” Here are some matters for which EU law has been responsible and which have undoubtedly improved our lives in the UK:

        1. Written health warnings and images on tobacco products;
        2. Lists of ingredients and warnings on food products;
        3. Car booster seats for children;
        4. Studying abroad – the ERASMUS fund together with free movement has allowed EU students to go on exchange study trips of up to a year;
        5. Research funding for universities;
        6. The recent inquest on the Hillsborough tragedy took place only because of EU law.

      • ian tinkler

        • July 7th, 2016 6:23

        “At Scotland’s four “ancient” universities – Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews – just under half (48%) of students were from Scotland.” Some record that!!!

      • Brian Smith

        • July 7th, 2016 7:30

        It may be that Mr Inkster is in favour of workers’ rights. But many members of the present government want to jettison them. These are rights that were protected by European law, now in danger from the lunatic right in the Conservative Party: paid holidays, equal treatment for part-time workers, rights for new mothers, parental leave, equal pay, limits on the working week, information about major change contemplated by your employer, health and safety, and protection from discrimination. Trade unions will be fighting to protect them, but it will be more difficult now that the nutters are in the ascendant.

      • ian tinkler

        • July 7th, 2016 8:45

        Please, Robert Sim, stop the porkies and check your facts. The Hillsborough Inquest had nothing to do with EU law. It was actually due to “European Convention on Human Rights” which the UK helped found in 1950. Long before the EU. I am not sure whether you ar just disingenuous or simply writing in ignorance. Let us know which please.

      • Robert Sim

        • July 7th, 2016 11:51

        Ian, oh dear – more insults from behind the safety of your keyboard.
        Anyway, re Hillsborough, have a read of the following:

        A lot has happened since the immediate post-WW2 period.

      • Ali Inkster

        • July 7th, 2016 20:34

        “Ian, oh dear – more insults from behind the safety of your keyboard.”
        Are you suggesting that he would somehow not be safe should he say this to your face?

  • John Tulloch

    • July 6th, 2016 17:29


    You say we are part of the UK and you would rather trust the EU to look after workers’ rights than London Tories. You are in denial.

    Scotland being simultaneously part of the UK AND the EU is not an option. The UK is leaving and Scotland will leave with it.

    As I explained in earlier comments, EU membership will be less beneficial for Scotland than the Iceland/Norway arrangement. ALL the benefits of the single market are available to an independent Scotland, while avoiding the well-known disadvantages of full EU membership.

    Nicola Sturgeon is intelligent enough to know that. Her initiative is nothing more than a cynical publicity stunt, designed to keep the independence bandwagon rolling.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • July 6th, 2016 20:25

      Such a shame John, for a moment there I thought you had suddenly become finally enlightened. 🙁

      Don’t take my word for what Theresa May plans to do with regards to workers rights, google it.

      ‘The EU is not an option’, says who?… The MSM? The UK government? The woman next door?… Nonsense, the reason why Nicola immediately responded to the Brexit vote was to secure Scotland’s place in the event of being dragged out of the EU against the wishes of the Majority of Scottish voters, we are now in a situation where the EU would be quite willing to accommodate Scotland IF it becomes independent before the 2 year period after article 50 has been invoked.

      Perhaps you’re right about ‘EU membership being less beneficial than the Iceland/Norway arrangement’, but ONLY if Scotland is independent…. Initially however, Scotland has to attract investment, those companies that choose to be a part of the EU. Edinburgh already has “the beginnings of a financial services hub, I suggest you google Morgan Stanley and the reintroduction of a Scottish stock exchange based in Edinburgh, strange moves when [as you say] we’re going down with the rUK, don’t you think?…


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