First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has accused the UK government of breaking promises to Scotland's fishing industry over the post-Brexit trade deal. The Scottish government said the agreement announced on Thursday was ”a bad deal for fishing.”
But the UK government has insisted the deal will allow Scotland's fishermen to flourish outside the EU.
Negotiations in Brussels went down to the wire over what EU fishing boats are allowed to catch in UK waters.
Until the end of this year, the UK will be bound by the EU's rules including the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
There will then be a five-and-a-half year transition period for the fishing industry.
Asked where the biggest compromises had been made, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK had wanted complete control over our fisheries from the get-go.
The EU began with wanting a transition period of 14 years, we wanted three years, he said, describing the final agreement as reasonable.”
Ms Sturgeon said it appeared that major promises made by the UK government on fisheries had been broken.
The extent of these broken promises will become apparent to all very soon, she said.
People in Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, but their views have been ignored.
This is a far harder Brexit than could have been imagined when the EU referendum took place, damaging and disrupting this nation's economy and society at the worst possible time.
The first minister argued that Scotland has the right to choose its own future as an independent country and once more regain the benefits of EU membership.”
However, the UK government's Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the deal was great news for Scotland's businesses.”
He said it brought huge opportunities and exceptional access to the EU market and new markets around the world.
We have an agreement on fisheries which will ensure that our fishermen, and our coastal communities, will flourish outside of the EU's unfair Common Fisheries Policy, he said.
The UK will once more be a sovereign coastal state.
He added that the deal would protect famous Scottish products such as whisky, Arbroath smokies and Orkney cheddar.
When Boris Johnson was asked what he might give Nicola Sturgeon for Christmas, he promised a post Brexit bonanza of fish.
It seems the largely Scottish-based UK fishing fleet will be able to catch more in home waters but not as much as they'd hoped.
Mr Johnson admits compromising on fishing to get a trade deal with the EU. He started out insisting there should be annual negotiations for access to UK waters.
Instead he appears to have guaranteed EU fleets continued, if reduced, fishing rights for at least five and a half years.
There was a time when all Scottish Conservative MPs said they could not support an agreement with such a pre-existing arrangement built in.
Today, both the Scottish Conservative leader, Douglas Ross and the Scottish secretary, Alister Jack, welcomed the outcome of negotiations.
While Nicola Sturgeon accuses them of breaking major promises on fishing, the UK government will hope its offer of a £100m support package will ease any industry disappointment.
The seafood industry welcomed news that a deal had been done, but warned that disruption when trying to get the fish into the single market would have serious consequences for perishable products such as salmon.
Seafood Scotland chief executive Donna Fordyce said: With Brexit will come new, untested, and extremely complex processes that the seafood sector will have to comply with in just a week's time, at huge cost which they can ill afford just now.
This bureaucratic blockade will result in some lorries not making it to Europe in time to ensure their highly perishable cargo is saleable.
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Pugol is representing Tories. Not Scots. The FACT and TRUTH is that when Scottish boats fly the Independent flag of a Free Scotland they will be able unimpeded to fish their own waters AND those protected by the EU Scotland will rejoin, and there is nothing the liars at #10 will be able to do about it!Dec 26th, 2020 - 07:43 pm +2
SCOTLAND FOR THE SCOTS. Not the Tories. Nicola: Draft your Declaration of Independence from Brexit, and announce it before Scots vote for freedom from Tories who represent not one inch of Scotland. The longer Scots suffer under Brexit, the damage it will do to Scotland will be unfairly dear.
Alba gu bràth!!Dec 26th, 2020 - 09:00 pm +2
Alba gu bràth...Dec 26th, 2020 - 11:14 pm +1