SNP's “huge blunder” over fishing as Shetland prepares to vote

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has said the SNP’s Derek Mackay has made a “huge blunder” after the Finance Secretary admitted on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday (29 July 2019) that political deals with the European Union would require ‘trade-offs’ when asked about the future of Scotland’s fishing industry.

Mr Halcro Johnston said that, behind all the rhetoric, this showed the SNP’s “true colours” and that they now saw Scotland’s fishermen as expendable.

The Scottish Conservative MSP said: “The SNP’s candidate in Shetland must be cursing Derek Mackay for letting the cat out of the bag that the SNP regard Scotland’s fishermen as expendable.

“This is a huge blunder by Derek Mackay and shows just how far removed the SNP now is from representing the interests of coastal communities like those in Shetland. It really has shown the SNP’s true colours.

“And what a contrast with the Prime Minister’s pledge, made only yesterday, that the UK will be coming out of the hated Common Fisheries Policy in 2020.

“Voters in Shetland now face a choice between the Scottish Conservatives, who will open up a sea of opportunity worth 5,000 new jobs, and the SNP and LibDems who intend to hand control of our fishing grounds straight back to the bureaucrats in Brussels.”

Mr Halcro Johnston added: “The SNP’s policy on Brexit really is all over the place. Despite their claimed opposition to a no-deal Brexit, SNP MPs at Westminster have voted again and again – three times, in fact – against a deal and an orderly withdrawal from the EU and the CFP.

“Rather than carping from the side-lines, the SNP should get behind efforts to secure a Brexit that works for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Unfortunately, all the SNP seemed focused on is disrupting those efforts, pushing for yet another independence vote, and trading away the future of Scottish fishing industry as they look to drag Scotland straight back into the EU and the CFP”.