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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

TORIES THREATEN BREXIT FISHING POWER GRAB

20/03/2017  

MUNDELL REFUSES TO RULE OUT WESTMINSTER BID

Scottish Secretary David Mundell today refused to rule out a Westminster power grab over fishing when appearing at the Scottish Parliament’s Europe Committee.

SNP MSP Richard Lochhead asked the Scottish Secretary for an assurance that “there will be no stopping of powers coming back to Scotland in devolved areas”, as a result of Brexit, citing fish quotas as an example. 

The Leave campaign promised that powers in devolved areas would automatically return to the Scottish Parliament after Brexit. 

But David Mundell refused to promise that fishing powers would return, saying that he was “not going to get into specific commitments”. 

The refusal comes after leaked documents indicated Tory Ministers do not consider fishing a ‘high’ priority in the UK’s Brexit negotiations – and follows Ruth Davidson indicating that powers over agriculture should not be automatically devolved. 

Commenting, SNP MSP Stuart McMillan, who sits on Holyrood’s Europe Committee, said:

“The Leave campaign claimed that Brexit would mean powers automatically coming back to Holyrood – any Westminster power grab over fishing would be a betrayal of that pledge.

“But it would also be a fundamental betrayal of the principle which has seen agriculture and fishing the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament since day one of devolution.

“The UK Government must not betray Scotland’s fishing industry again – it is a vital part of our economy and crucial to the livelihoods of many communities and many thousands of families across the country.

“David Mundell’s comments will be deeply concerning to many fishermen in our coastal communities from Eyemouth to Peterhead – and follows suggestions from the Tories that fishing may be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations, risking yet another Tory sell-out of our fishing communities.”

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