Tory MP says he will vote down Brexit deal unless UK takes full control of fishing waters

Posted On: 
19th March 2018

A Conservative MP has warned that he will try to vote down the final Brexit deal unless it includes returning full control of Britain's fishing waters. 

A fishing boat pictured off the Kent coast

John Lamont spoke out after reports suggesting ministers are prepared to make significant concessions on fishing in order to help secure a transition deal with Brussels.

The European Council's draft negotiating guidelines also stipulated that "existing reciprocal access to fishing waters and resources should be maintained" after Britain leaves the EU.

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Environment Secretary Michael Gove had previously suggested the UK would regain control of its waters from March 2019, while the Tory general election manifesto said the UK would "be fully responsible for the access and management of its waters" after Brexit.

Mr Lamont, the MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, tweeted last night that Britain needed "complete control over UK fishing" after Brexit.

Asked if that meant he would vote against any withdrawal agreement which did nt guarantee that, he replied: "Yes."



Significantly, Scottlsh Tory leader Ruth Davidson later added her own tweet saying Mr Lamont would have her "full support" - and that was liked by Scottish Secretary David Mundell.



PoliticsHome understands that other Scottish Conservative MPs may also publicly back Mr Lamont's stance before Theresa May attends this week's crunch EU Council summit in Brussels.

Meanwhile, the former head of the Prime Minister's policy unit, has also said he could vote against the Brexit deal if it means a return to a hard border in Ireland.

Appearing on Radio Four's Westminster Hour last night, George Freeman said: "Let me be clear for me this would be - and I think for other colleagues - a red line . If we cannot resolve this then I think it's going to be impossible to support a Brexit that can't get this right, and similarly for me on business, investment and jobs.

"My support for Brexit is based on a constituency that voted in favour, my constituents voted to leave the political union, they want the common market . We have somehow got to get a deal that gets this right. I would find it very difficult to vote for a Brexit that puts a border back between North and South of Ireland and creates a cliff-edge for investment next spring."