Scottish fishermen’s leaders will maintain pressure on ministers to secure the industry’s top priority of control over access to UK waters as the Brexit trade talks proceed.
They will continue to urge the government to stick to its plan to make decisions on who gets to catch what, where and when around our shores from 2021 and beyond.
Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “The UK government’s position is clear and concise: that under international law, we will become an independent coastal state with control over our waters and that access to those waters will be granted through annual international negotiations between sovereign equals.
“Outside the Common Fisheries Policy, which is where we will be, this is perfectly normal. It is what other major fishing nations such as Norway and Iceland do.
“Similarly, those nations do not trade away access to their waters in exchange for access to EU markets for their seafood produce. The UK government has recognised this in its negotiating mandate and we fully intend to hold them to that.”
Ms Macdonald added: “The EU is insisting that the status quo should prevail, whereby the UK catches only less than 40% of the available quota stocks in our waters.
“That, of course, is untenable. UK ministers and negotiators need to stick to their guns and deliver the Sea of Opportunity that will so patently benefit our coastal communities.”