The SNP has said Scotland and our fishing communities are counting the cost of “an extraordinary Brexit con” by the Tories – after the publication of Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit deal revealed the damning extent of Tory lies and broken promises on fishing.
Throughout the shameful Brexit saga, the Tories have only ever managed to identify a single supposed benefit to Scotland of leaving the EU – the promise to take back full and entire control of fisheries, which has now been exposed as yet another shameless Tory lie.
Instead, in the words of Scottish Tory Leader Douglas Ross, Britain is leaving the Common Fisheries Policy “in name only” – leaving Tory promises and red lines blown out of the water.
SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP (pictured) said Scottish Tories including Douglas Ross, Scottish Secretary Alistair Jack, and junior minister David Duguid must be held to account for the broken promises.
The MPs were among a group of Scots Tories who wrote a joint letter to the Prime Minister expressing in the strongest possible terms their opposition to the kind of deal the UK Government has now signed up to.
Scottish Office minister David Duguid said a red line issue was that fisheries must not be tied to an overall Brexit trade deal – but the industry is at the very heart of the deal opening up the threat of future trade sanctions.
Fishing organisations have spoken out about the Tory con trick.
Mike Park, Chief Executive of Scottish White Fish Producers Association, described the deal as “a betrayal by the UK Government on the Scottish industry.”
Elspeth Macdonald, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, described the broken promises as “hugely disappointing.”
Barrie Deas, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said there was “frustration and anger” as “Boris Johnson…was willing to sacrifice fishing” and warned “the industry will be extremely disappointed.”
The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) said Brexit means the sector now faces “lots more red tape, bureaucracy and paperwork” and warned that delays in getting fish to European markets will have “serious consequences” for perishable products.
Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said:
“No-one in Scotland can ever again trust a word the Tories say.
“This is a massive sell-out.
“They have conned and deceived people.
“Their own words, when they talked about “betrayal” and leaving the common fisheries policy “in name only”, have come back to haunt them.
“They said that access and quota shares with the EU must be negotiated on an annual basis without any pre-existing arrangement being in force.
“But in a spectacular broken promise, Boris Johnson’s UK Government have signed a deal that guarantees long-term access for EU boats.
“They said that “tying fishing to a trade deal” was a red line that must not be crossed.
“But that is precisely what they have done.
“They have agreed to the worst of all worlds – a hard Brexit deal including a fisheries deal that in their own words means we have left the common fisheries policy in name only.
“The Tories have forced Brexit on Scotland which will mean a huge hit to the wider economy and jobs in the middle of a pandemic and recession.
“In an independent Scotland we would have a seat at the top table with a Scottish government fighting for our interests in Europe.
“The broken promises of Douglas Ross, Alister Jack and David Dugiud are completely unforgivable and they must be held to account.”