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Friday, February 3, 2023

Scottish Fishermen Say Brexit Delivers The Worst of Both Worlds

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The SNP has said the Tory government must deliver a multi-billion-pound package of Brexit compensation to Scotland – as Scottish fishermen write a damning letter Boris Johnson.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) have written a devastating letter to the Prime Minister tearing apart his “desperately poor deal” which “is not what you promised the fishing industry” following two weeks of “mounting financial losses” since the hard Tory Brexit was imposed on Scotland on 31st December, which could mean “many in the seafood supply chain fear they will not survive”.

The letter warns “this industry now finds itself in the worst of both worlds” as a result of the brexit deal, which it says is “manifestly unbalanced and against the interests of the UK fishing industry”.

It accuses the Tory government of spinning lines they know aren’t true with the reality that “your deal has failed the industry” and “your deal actually leaves the Scottish industry in a worse position on more than half of the key stocks”.

In the letter, SFF Chief Executive Elspeth Macdonald demands details of a compensation scheme “as a matter of urgency, and of course this must be new money, and not taken from the £100 million that you have already announced for investment and innovation” – warning “there is huge disappointment and a great deal of anger about your failure to deliver on promises made repeatedly to this industry”.

Despite Boris Johnson making a commitment to Parliament’s Liaison Committee that fishing communities would get compensation Downing Street, and Tory Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary George Eustice, have since appeared to U-turn on this commitment.

Commenting, SNP Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Deidre Brock MP said:

“This is an utterly devastating verdict on Brexit from Scotland’s fishing industry – the only sector the Tories have ever claimed could benefit from leaving the EU.

“Scotland’s fishing industry is right to be angry about all the Tory lies and broken promises on Brexit, and the devastating reality of Boris Johnson’s deal, which is costing Scotland’s fishing communities millions of pounds in lost revenue, mounting costs, red tape and barriers to trade.

“The Prime Minister must urgently deliver a multi-billion-pound package of Brexit compensation for Scotland – to mitigate the damage his Tory deal has done to our economy.

“This must include major compensation for fishing businesses and communities who have been hit hard.

“Communities across Scotland will never forgive the Tories for the damage they are doing to our country with their extreme Brexit obsession.

“The litany of false claims have now been utterly exposed and mean that many people in Scotland will never trust the Tories again.

“Scotland’s fishing community has been treated appallingly by the Tories.

“It tells you everything you need to know that the Tory fisheries minister was too busy organising a nativity trail to read the Brexit deal – and Jacob Rees-Mogg has spent the week making jokes and literally laughing about the plight of Scotland’s fishing industry.

“Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process.

“It is outrageous Scotland is being forced to pay such a devastating high price for a Tory Brexit we didn’t vote for and do not want.

“The people of Scotland have the right to determine our own future.

“It is clearer than ever that the only way to protect Scotland’s interests and our place in Europe is to become an independent country.”

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