Scottish Tory MP: Brexit fishing deal worse than drinking pint of cold sick

Posted On: 
19th March 2018

A Conservative MP today blasted the Government over a deal on fisheries post-Brexit - saying it would be “easier to get someone to drink a pint of sick than try to sell this as a success”.

Theresa May is facing fury from Tory MPs on fishing rights post-Brexit
Credit: 
PA Images

Douglas Ross joined Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson in voicing his anger after Brexit Secretary David Davis was accused of betrayal by fishermen.

The Brexit Secretary admitted that the UK would not have full control of its fishing waters during the roughly two-year Brexit transition period after the March 2019 withdrawal date.

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Instead Brussels will only be required to “consult” the UK as it continues to dictate the quotas that can be caught in British waters.

The news is a major blow for Scotland which boasts by far the biggest fishing industry in the UK.

A furious Mr Ross said the deal “does not in any way reflect what I have been asking for” and blasted the Government for delivering “far less than I hoped and expected”.

The Moray MP added: “There is no spinning this as a good outcome, it would be easier to get someone to drink a pint of cold sick than try to sell this as a success.

“I hope my disappointment on behalf of Moray fishermen is clear and I will now be redoubling my efforts to ensure their interests are protected during the implementation period and any final deal that does not deliver, unequivocally, full control over fish stocks and vessel access will not have my support.”

His warning to vote against the final Brexit deal echoes that of fellow Scottish Tory John Lamont and former head of the Prime Minister’s policy board George Freeman - who both spoke out on the issue.

PoliticsHome understands that other Scottish Conservative MPs could join the rebellion before Mrs May attends this week's crunch EU Council summit in Brussels.

Backbencher David Duguid today told PoliticsHome he had been pushing for a 9-month transition "bridge" for fishing.

"What’s been announced today adds another 12 months to that idea but also suggests that we will not have full control during that period," he told PoliticsHome.

"This is what fishing communities feel let down over.”

Ms Davidson dubbed the agreement an “undoubted disappointment,” that had left fishing leaders “deeply frustrated”.

She said: “During these negotiations, we wanted to gain control over our waters from as early as the end of next year.

“The EU was not willing to move on this. That we now have to wait until 2020 to assume full control is an undoubted disappointment.

“Having spoken to fishing leaders today, I know they are deeply frustrated with this outcome.

“There is no ignoring the fact that this falls short of what they had hoped for in the short-term.”