Scottish Tory fishing revolt fears recede

David Mundell - UK Parliament official portraits 2017

FEARS of a revolt by Scotland’s Tory MPs over fishing receded last night after the Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, backed the Brexit deal.
He emerged from the five-hour Cabinet meeting saying it was now clear the UK would leave the Common Fisheries Policy in 2020, adding that a no-deal would be ‘appalling’ for Scotland.
Earlier, all of Scotland’s 13 Conservative MPs threatened to plunge Prime Minister Theresa May into a new crisis after they warned they would rebel if the UK remained tied to the EU Common Fisheries Policy in any form.
They delivered a signed letter following reports that the draft agreement would delay a future UK fisheries policy until a future trade deal was agreed, which may not happen for two or three years.
The letters said: ‘We could not support an agreement with the EU that would prevent the UK from independently negotiating access and quota shares.
‘That would mean that we would not be leaving the CFP [Commons Fisheries Policy] in practice and would be becoming an independent coastal state in name only.’
The letter sparked speculation that Mundell was poised to resign unless the Prime Minister backed down and sought better terms on fishing rights in the draft deal.
But Mundell said after the Cabinet meeting that he was satisfied the MPs’ concerns were met and he could give the deal – which was given its blessing by the Cabinet – his support.
He said: ‘I was content to move to the next stage of the process on the basis that Brexit will deliver for our fishing industry – as I and colleagues set out in our letter – and on the basis that arrangements for Northern Ireland will not undermine the economic or constitutional integrity of the UK.’
Picture: Scottish Secretary David Mundell


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