19th November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Fishing industry must not be political pawn, says Scott

Following the Prime Minister’s speech on Tuesday on leaving the EU, Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has pushed the Scottish fishing minister to ensure that local interests are not traded away as part of a wider UK-EU deal.

Mr Scott said during her speech Theresa May had raised the potential of Shetland’s fishing industry being a bargaining chip as the UK left the EU. She cited German workers, French farmers and Spanish fishermen as people who wanted the UK.

Mr Scott also demanded that the fishing industry received more information about how it would be affected as the UK leaves the EU.

The Holyrood debate on the Scottish Fishermen Federation’s “A Sea of Opportunities” campaign gave Mr Scott an opportunity to highlight the proposed new fishmarket in Lerwick and ask the minister for his support for that project promoted by Lerwick Port Authority.

He also praised Radiant Star skipper Victor Laurenson, who was Scalloway’s Jarl in the village’s fire festival last weekend.

After the debate Mr Scott said: “We know that Article 50 will be triggered by March starting the negotiations that will take the UK out of the EU.

“What we don’t know is where fishing stands in the Prime Minister’s list of priorities. But she spoke about Spanish fishermen, not the Shetland or Scottish industry so I suspect it’s rather low down.

“The last thing the industry needs is to become a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations. And it will no use if we end up with a copy of the hated Common Fisheries Policy.”

5 comments

  1. Kathy Greaves

    The Shetland Times has reported two very different and opposing quotes (above), namely from your reported “During her speech Theresa May had raised the potential of Shetland’s fishing industry being a bargaining chip as the UK leaves the EU. She cited German workers, French farmers and Spanish fishermen as people who want the UK.” and Tavish Scott’s comment “What we don’t know is where fishing stands in the Prime Minister’s list of priorities. But she spoke about Spanish fishermen, not the Shetland or Scottish industry so I suspect it’s rather low down”.

    So did she mention Shetland’s fishing industry or not? This could be misunderstood by some readers.

    Reply
    • George Dickson

      Personally, I think that there is only one, very major, second rate (as she sees it), give-away part of the UK. That is the Shetland Islands, and Theresa May will give it out to all and sundryif it will, in any way, keep a single shilling in Englands pocket. She cares for no more.

      Reply
  2. Duncan Simpson

    I would like to ask Mr Scott if, in the event his fears about our most vital industry are realised, would he then revisit his previous calls for some form of “Home Rule” for Shetland?

    He very much advocated such calls during the Scottish Referendum as well as the last Scottish Elections. Surely our biggest industry being sold down the river (again!) by Westminster would warrant at the very least a serious investigation into the feasibility of an autonomous Shetland?

    Shetland will suffer disproportionately more than anywhere else in the entire country if fishing rights are traded away as a bargaining chip.

    It is time we consider standing up for our own interests – history as well as recent events show us that no one else will.

    Reply
    • Bill Adams

      As you correctly point out, Duncan, Tavish Scott’s calls for some form of “Home Rule” for Shetland always seem to occur only during Election Campaigns. Has it ever crossed your mind why that is the case?
      You cannot fail to notice that while he was only too keen to have your endorsement (by Wir Shetland) for the Holyrood election last year, he has since moved to distance himself from your group.
      Duncan, it is called posturing and political expediency.

      Reply
  3. Douglas Young

    Tavish Scott actually voted AGAINST protecting Shetland’s interests, in Holyrood on Tuesday 17th January 2017. whilst Scottish Labour supported the motion which was carried 86 to 36. He supported the Tories.

    Would make a good front-page story

    http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5M-03427

    Reply

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