Thu 29 Mar, 2018

80 per cent of what's caught in Scottish waters is sold to the EU, and it's a fantasy to claim you can separate out access to the waters from access to this market. Patrick Harvie MSP

Green MSP Patrick Harvie today pressed the First Minister to support continued EU membership and to accept that that must include continued participation in the Common Fisheries Policy, which relies on the best science to protect both our marine environment and the long term strength of our fishing industry.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"The SNP have legitimately pointed to Scotland's vote to remain in the EU in June 2016, and like the First Minister, Greens believe continued membership of the European Union would be in Scotland's best interests. We will continue to commit to our European future, especially in light of the increasing body of evidence calling the legitimacy of the referendum into question.

"However, the SNP and the Conservatives have engaged in a misleading bidding war with each other over fisheries, both claiming that the Common Fisheries Policy is flawed and both accusing the other of betraying Scotland's fishing industry. 80 per cent of what's caught in Scottish waters is sold to the EU, and it's a fantasy to claim you can separate out access to the waters from access to this market.

"The truth of the matter is that membership of the EU means membership of the CFP, whatever the SNP may want to claim. What's more, rules against over-fishing our waters are agreed at a global level: the CFP is merely how those rules are administered. The history of fish stock collapses around the world shows us what happens when those rules are ignored. 

"The long-term interests of our fishing industry should be the same as those of conservationists: healthy seas and healthy fish stocks for the long term. Without the CFP there would be no cod in our shops: is that really the future the SNP want?"

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