Government assurances on Brexit negotiations welcomed by industry

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has welcomed assurances from the UK Government that the industry will not be deployed as a “bargaining chip” in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

In evidence to a Scottish Parliamentary committee this week, Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell emphasised the importance of fishing to Scotland.

He told members of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee: “Our position going into the negotiations – I make this absolutely clear, since it is occasionally referenced in the media – is that there is absolutely no situation in which fishing will be a bargaining chip in the negotiations.

“It is a very important industry here in Scotland and I very much welcome its positive approach. However, we should not—and I certainly do not wish to—display any complacency in relation to the tough nature of the negotiations that may lie ahead.”

Scottish secretary David Mundell.

Chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation Bertie Armstrong said: “There would appear now to be a consensus on the part of the UK and Scottish governments that the fishing industry simply must not be deployed as a bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations.

“David Mundell’s evidence to the Scottish Parliament committee this week and Scottish Fisheries Minister Fergus Ewing’s statement to MSPs in January are equally clear about that.

“This is very welcome news for many rural communities in Scotland which depend on the industry for jobs. Of course there is a long, long way to go, but we look forward to regaining control of a key natural resource for the benefit of this and future generations.”

Almost 60 per cent of the UK’s fish are caught by non-UK vessels under the common access granted by the Common Fisheries Policy.

The industry insists that post-Brexit the UK will have control of its seas – the so-called Exclusive Economic Zone which has some of the best fishing grounds in the world.

Supported by a competent management system, this will result in increased economic activity in the fishing fleets, the communities that support them and the downstream supply chains.

In his evidence, Mr Mundell also dismissed a recent report by MEPs which suggested that the UK would have to remain in the Common Fisheries Policy even after leaving the EU.


Add Your Comment
  • David Spence

    • February 26th, 2017 22:14

    Assurances from the Tories?…………is this the same assurances the Tories gave in 1974, when they regarded the Scottish and Shetland Fishing was expendable?

    When it comes to the Tories promising this and that, I would a) not believe it or b) take it with a large amount of ‘ sea salt ‘……….either way, it will not be for the greater good of the fishing industry.

    I would also be interested, if it has been forecasted, how the Scottish and Shetland Fishing will do if the Tories take on TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) with the USA?


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.