Sunday, 25 March 2018

Scots Tory MP Puts UK Government's BREXIT Bill Before Fishing

Speaking to the BBC today, Tory MP Colin Clark confirmed he would support the Tories' EU Withdrawal Bill, despite his earlier position that he would vote against it if there were no guarantees that Scottish fishing rights will not be traded away in EU negotiations.

This u-turn follows pledges made earlier this week by Scots Tory MPs, backed by Scottish party leader Ruth Davidson, that they would not consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill until it included such guarantees.

Sunday Politics Scotland presenter Gordon Brewer questioned Mr Clark’s “change in policy”, asking if he would in fact vote against the EU Withdrawal Bill, to which he responded: “That’s not going to arise, Gordon, because we are absolutely, categorically behind the Government that by December 2020 we will be an independent state negotiating with the EU.”

Fishermen had been told they would regain full control over the country's fishing waters on Brexit day, 29 March, 2019. Instead, the UK will merely be "consulted" on fish quotas during the interim period, while remaining in the CFP.

Commenting, SNP MSP Gillian Martin said:

"The Scottish Tories are putting Westminster politics before Scotland’s fishing industry.

“The SNP has consistently stood up for Scotland’s fishing industry – calling for current Europe-wide agreements to be fundamentally reformed, or scrapped altogether. But that can only happen if Scotland has a seat at the table, because - as history shows - the Westminster Tories cannot be trusted with vital Scottish industries such as fishing.

“The Scottish Tories are breaking new promises on fishing every day. First, they promised that we would regain full control over our waters on 29 March 2019 and that promise has been scrapped. Then they claimed they would vote against the EU Withdrawal Bill unless the UK Government confirmed that fishing rights would not be traded post-transition. And now Colin Clark MP has claimed that he will give his full backing to the Brexit Bill, despite not having any of those guarantees from the UK Government. Neither he or his North East Tory colleagues are even attempting to stand up for the voters who put their trust in them.

“The UK Tory Government needs to answer the very simple question that has been put to them countless times – will they guarantee that Scotland’s fishing rights will not be traded away in EU negotiations?

“It is clearer than ever that the Tories cannot be trusted to deliver for Scotland’s fishing communities.”
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