Scots fishermen must not be ‘expendable’

Christian Allard.
Christian Allard.

SNP MSP Christian Allard has urged the UK Government to ensure that Scottish fishermen are not regarded as expendable in the latest round of EU negotiations.

Mr Allard made the comments as he asked the Scottish Government to ensure the needs and priorities of the Scottish fishing industry are not forgotten by the UK Government.

The North East MSP took the opportunity to ask the Minister for Europe and International Development, Humza Yousaf MSP, whether the Scottish Government has been invited by the UK Government to discuss its negotiation proposals regarding European Union reform.

In his response, Mr Yousaf assured Mr Allard that the Scottish Government has proactively shared its agenda for EU reform with the UK Government.

Mr Allard is concerned the Conservative Government will fail to consider the needs and priorities of the Scottish fishing industry during these negotiations – and sell the industry down the river.

The North East MSP cited previous EU negotiations where a Westminster Government official said that “in the wider UK context, they (Scottish fishermen) must be regarded as expendable.”

He said: “It worries me that this Conservative Government is taking the lead in EU negotiations where the interests of the Scottish fishing industry will be at stake.

“There is precedence for Westminster officials to think of Scottish fishermen as expendable when dealing with the European Union.

“This is a position that is completely unacceptable to me and to the Scottish Government.

!That is why I am pleased with Humza Yousaf’s assurance that every effort is being made to ensure Scottish fishermen will be listened to.

“The fishing industry should never again be used by the Tories as a bargaining chip to gain concessions from our partners in Europe,” added Mr Allard.