UKIP Fisheries spokesman blasts ‘power grab’ as SNP demand devolved fisheries rights post Brexit
Mike Hookem MEP has blasted the powerful Scottish Fisheries Federation (SFF) for supporting SNP plans to break up Britain’s fisheries post-Brexit, saying; “Only a simplified, single system will work for the whole of the UK after our departure from the EU’s hated Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).”
Mr Hookem’s comments came after the SFF stated in a recent press release that they would back Nicola Surgeon’s demands to devolve power over Scotland’s fisheries to Holyrood. In a press release, the SFF stated, “the Scottish government is best placed to decide fishing policy for Scottish waters…not UK ministers”.
Speaking from Strasbourg, UKIP’s fisheries spokesman, Mr Hookem said, “The SNP’s policy on fishing seems to be all at sea.”
“On the one hand, the SNP are committed to remaining in the European Union, which flies in the face of what the vast majority of Scottish fisherman want. Remaining in the EU means keeping the hated Common Fisheries Policy by default, which Scottish fishermen bitterly oppose.”
“However, at the same time, the SNP is also looking for any opportunity to devolve yet more power to Holyrood even if that means compromising their position on Brexit to do so.
“This attempt to break up the UK’s fisheries is nothing more than a power grab that will infuriate fishing communities up and down the country who have fought so hard for a unified British fisheries system.
“However, it also does not surprise me that the SFF have decided to support the SNP’s position. As an organisation deeply opposed to Brexit, they are now back peddling as fast as they can to try and regain some credibility within Scottish fishing communities.
“It’s just a shame the SFF have chosen to go down the road of blatant Scottish nationalism, rather than working with the whole UK industry to create a more prosperous future for all British fishing communities moving forward.
“It is in no one’s interests to have a split EEZ and a parallel set of rules and a great deal of bureaucracy between Scotland and the rest of the UK. All that will do is create further chaos in an industry already on its knees after 40 years of the CFP.
“The idea of devolved Scottish waters also throws up the question of how the SNP intend to protect and police these vital interests; and whether they would use the Scottish fishing industry as a cheap bargaining chip in its state aim of remaining in the EU?
“It is about time all political parties vested interests in the fishing industry put aside their own interests and started working toward a better future for all."