Published: 19/03/2018 15:59 - Updated: 19/03/2018 16:28

Moray MP hits out over EU fishing deal

MP Douglas RossMORAY’S MP has criticised his own government over the EU fishing deal.

Douglas Ross expressed his "anger and disappointment" over the interim arrangement, which will see Britain “consulted” on the allocation of quotas during the Brexit transition.

The fishing industry had expected to regain full control of Britain’s waters on leaving the European Union. Now, it will be subject to the “whim and largesse of the EU for another two years”, according to the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF).

Mr Ross said: “There is no spinning this as a good outcome, it would be easier to get someone to drink a pint of cold sick than try to sell this as a success.”

The Conservative parliamentarian continued: “I was elected last year to be a voice for our fishing communities within government and I have tried at every opportunity to reinforce the importance of this industry at the highest levels of government. This deal today does not in any way reflect what I have been asking for and I join fishermen in their anger and disappointment

“There is no doubt that the EU was unwilling to move on this issue which underlines why so many in fishing communities voted to leave. The EU does not care about Scottish fishermen and neither do the SNP Scottish Government which actually wants us to re-join the Common Fisheries Policy and the EU.

“But I have to say that the UK Government has delivered far less than I hoped and expected. I hope my disappointment on behalf of Moray fishermen is clear and I will now be redoubling my efforts to ensure their interests are protected during the implementation period and any final deal that does not deliver, unequivocally, full control over fish stocks and vessel access will not have my support.”

SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong branded the transitional arrangement as “far short of acceptable”.

He said: “We will leave the EU and leave the Common Fisheries Policy, but hand back sovereignty over our seas a few seconds later. Our fishing communities’ fortunes will still be subject to the whim and largesse of the EU for another two years.

“Put simply, we do not trust them to look after us. So we issue this warning to the EU: be careful what you do or the consequences later will be severe. To our politicians we say this: some have tried to secure a better deal but our governments have let us down.

“As a consequence, we expect a written, cast iron guarantee that after the implementation period, sovereignty will mean sovereignty and we will not enter into any deal which gives any other nation or the EU continued rights of access or quota other than those negotiated as part of the annual Coastal States negotiations.”

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