European Union Negotiations (Fishing Rights)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 10th September 2020.

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Photo of Peter Chapman Peter Chapman Conservative

An article in The Times newspaper on Tuesday reported that a Scottish Government delegation in Brussels suggested to European Union officials that United Kingdom negotiators should make concessions to the EU on fishing rights in the Brexit talks. I am sure that the First Minister will realise that, if that is true, that significantly weakens the UK’s negotiating position and could, therefore, result in a much poorer outcome for our fishermen. Will the First Minister confirm or deny that that conversation took place as reported?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Neither I nor anybody in the Scottish Government has ever tried to undermine the UK’s negotiations with the European Union. Even if we wanted to—which we do not—we would not have to, because the UK is doing such a good job of undermining the negotiations itself.

I ask the member to reflect on what has transpired over the past couple of days. The UK Government has just published a bill that it admits breaks international law. It is trashing the United Kingdom’s international reputation and, frankly, that is disgraceful. That story sounds to me like the UK Government is preparing the ground to sell out Scotland’s fishing industry yet again and is looking for somebody else to blame. When and if it does sell out Scotland’s fishing industry, the only people to blame will be the Tories in the UK Government.