Fisheries Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:38 pm on 21st November 2018.

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Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment and Rural Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales) 3:38 pm, 21st November 2018

On our terms, of course. That is the point the hon. Gentleman is leaving out.

If we are looking for a history lesson, let us remind ourselves about the Tories, who have been selling out Scottish fishing for nearly half a century. Under Ted Heath in the 1970s, fisheries were considered expendable. In the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher, the UK Government signed us up to the original doomed common fisheries policy, which consigned our fishermen to decades of mismanagement. John Major’s Tories signed up to a revised common fisheries policy in the 1990s, which scrapped vessels and destroyed livelihoods. In the 21st century, the Tories were attempting to enshrine the common fisheries policy in European treaties, while the SNP was trying to return controls to the fishing nations. Let us not forget that, very recently, Ruth Davidson was reported in The Times as calling fisheries a red line issue, and a Scottish Tory source was quoted as saying:

“We won a lot of votes in the northeast on the back of our stance on fishing and wouldn’t be able to show our faces in Banff and Buchan if we renege on this one.”