Tavish says fishing industry’s future must not be political pawn

The Prime Minister today 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. Speaking during a Holyrood Fisheries debate this afternoon, Tavish pushed the Scottish Fisheries Minister to ensure that local fishing interests are not traded away as part of a wider UK- EU deal. Fergus Ewing is to meet his opposite numbers next week.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott also demanded that the fishing industry gets more information about how it will be affected as the UK leaves the European Union.

The Holyrood debate on the Scottish Fishermen Federation’s A Sea of Opportunities campaign gave Tavish an opportunity to highlight the proposed new fish market in Lerwick and ask the Minister for his support for that project promoted by Lerwick Port Authority. He also praised Victor Laurenson, skipper of the Radiant Star, who was Scalloway’s Jarl in the village’s Fire Festival last weekend.

Commenting after the debate, Tavish 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.”

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