Boris warned he will force BREAK-UP of Britain if he sells out UK fishing in EU trade deal
Nicola Sturgeon wants to return the Scottish fishing industry back into the hands of the European Union if she succeeds in securing independence from the UK, despite fishermen across the country demanding full control of British waters. Under Ms Sturgeon’s plan, Scottish fishermen would once again have to abide by the controversial Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), despite coastal communities long bemoaning the restrictions imposed under the system. Fishing For Leave said the EU has a “critical dependency on UK seafood exports”, which will only increase if the UK Government ends the ability of EU fleets to catch 60 percent of fish in British waters that represent a third of their total catches.
The campaign group also added Brussels is also heavily dependent on the “financial powerhouse” of London.
But in one of the strongest warnings yet to Boris Johnson, Fishing for Leave said giving any leeway to the EU over UK fishing rights in a post-Brexit free-trade deal with the EU could also see his Conservative Party lose several coastal constituencies – particularly in Scotland.
The campaign group told Express.co.uk: “The real cost of sacrificing fishing is political. It would enrage the public who see fishing as totemic.
“It would cost the Conservatives a host of coastal constituencies. Particularly those in Scotland that underpin the Union.
The sacrifice of fishing could tip the scales to Indyref2 and the break up of Britain. That would be a far higher cost than anything the EU is offering
Fishing For Leave
“The sacrifice of fishing could tip the scales to Indyref2 and the break up of Britain.
“That would be a far higher cost than anything the EU is offering.
“Conversely, Boris can take back control of a £6billion-8billion industry by not rolling over current exploitational EU access and quota shares, exorcising the ghost of Heath and being a national hero for righting a grievous wrong.”
On January 31 – the day Britain officially left the EU – the Scottish Government updated its guidance for the country’s fishermen.
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It says: “Your current regulatory obligations under the Common Fisheries Policy and marine environment legislation remain in full effect throughout 2020.
“There are no changes to your operational reporting requirements or obligations.
“The aim is to conclude an EU-UK Fisheries Agreement by 1 July 2020 and a Free Trade Agreement with the EU by the end of December 2020.
“Marine Scotland will continue to monitor the progress of the negotiations and how this will impact your business in January 2020.
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“The EU has different fishing requirements for ‘third countries’ (countries not in the EU). If the transition period ends before an EU trade deal has been agreed (a ‘no deal’ situation), Scottish fisheries will have to follow these requirements.
But last month, a Holyrood committee was told the UK Government is prepared to “trade off” Scotland’s fishing industry in post-Brexit trade deal negotiations to ensure Britain’s lucrative financial sector is protected.
Centre for European Reform director Charles Grant told MSPs a senior Whitehall official had indicated they would “bargain” with Scottish fishing to “get a better deal on financial services.”
He was giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Europe committee on the EU Withdrawal Bill and warned fishing could become one of the “nastiest” areas in the forthcoming trade negotiations.
Mr Grant said: “Fish could be the most difficult part of the entire negotiation. I’ve been told by some member state governments they will not agree to any deal on anything unless the British give in on fish quite quickly.
“And I’ve heard a senior person in London, part of the government, say we may have to give on fish, we may have to give the EU access to our waters or we won’t get anything for the city of London, so I think for the Scottish people in particular, this could be a very important issue.
“There’s a strong point of view in London that British fish can be sold to get a better deal on financial services and I think the EU is going to be absolutely very hard on this.”
Earlier this month, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) renewed efforts to ensure Mr Johnson frees the whole of the UK from the stranglehold of the CFP.
The SFF warned failure to gain full control of access to British waters over the second stage of Brexit negotiations would be a “colossal betrayal” of the fishing industry.
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