MP makes case for ‘unique’ Brexit status

David Duguid MP with the Prime Minister in Downing Street at their meeting on Tuesday.
David Duguid MP with the Prime Minister in Downing Street at their meeting on Tuesday.

A north-east MP has made the case for the UK fishing industry to be granted ‘unique and special status’ during Brexit negotiations at a meeting with the Prime Minister last Tuesday.

David Duguid held talks in Downing Street with the Rt Hon Theresa May, party whips, colleagues from north of the border as well as MPs representing coastal constituencies in England.

The meeting was held to discuss the implications of Brexit on the fishing industry.

The Banff and Buchan MP has been a vocal supporter of the fishing sector during and since the general election in June last year.

And he has pledged to secure the best possible deal for fishermen as the UK prepares to leaves the EU.

During his meeting with the PM, the Scottish Conservative backbencher urged Mrs May to ensure the UK leaves the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) immediately at the point of Brexit.

Mr Duguid has backed calls from sector leaders for a nine-month ‘bridge’ period from the day the UK leaves the EU on March 29, 2019.

That would mean the UK takes its seat at the EU Fisheries Council talks in December 2019 as an independent coastal state.

Speaking after Tuesday’s meeting, Mr Duguid said: “I was very pleased to be given the opportunity to make my case directly to the Prime Minister.

“Fishing is a vital and totemic industry, not just for Scotland, but for the whole of the UK.

“That was highlighted in a recent You Gov poll which showed a majority of people favour taking back control of our waters immediately after we leave the EU.”

He continued: “Confirming support for the bridge period would be visible and popular evidence that we had actually left the EU and that there are tangible benefits for Brexit.

“It would be unacceptable to fishermen in my consitutency if we end up being an independent coastal state but with no influence at the EU Fisheries talks.

“Coastal communities the length and breadth of our United Kingdom have suffered long enough.

“The fishing industry must be granted unique and special status in the Brexit negotiations. I will continue to make that case on behalf of my constituents as the government navigates our way out of the EU,” he added.

*What are your views on withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy? Email news@buchanobserver.com