Scots Candidates Lack Power To Help Fishers, Says Industry Leader Fishing Monthly Published: 02 April, 2003
SCOTTISH parliamentary candidates can offer fishing communities nothing to give them reasonable stability and certainty over their future, Scottish White Fish Producers Association secretary George MacRae claimed today.
This, he contended, is because the real decisions that need to be made for the future of the industry are made in Brussels, which is a matter exclusively “within the domain” of Westminster.
Paradoxically, fisheries and fishing matters have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, which has exclusive jurisdiction over fisheries within certain limits from our coastline, but unfortunately European issues including fisheries is a matter only for Westminster.This situation is not only confusing to the industry but frankly to the whole of the Scottish electorate and it highlights the problem with devolution.
The Scottish Parliament, in short, needs more powers perhaps to operate on a federal basis, a bit like the United States where each State is virtually autonomous to do its own thing subject to certain issues being controlled nationally, such as defence. “
The best the Scottish Parliament can do, he said, is to try and influence UK policy from time to time and within the Scottish budget make some financial assistance available, but that does not address the real problem which is at the root of the difficulties in the fishing industry.
Scots Parliament lacks muscle over fisheries…