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.”