Tom Wills has published a list of how he plans to stand up for Shetland’s fishing industry, outlining the priorities he will take to the Scottish Parliament, if elected:
– Scottish seafood must retain full, tariff-free access to the European single market.
– Sustainable, decentralised fisheries management – with decisions taken which best suit local fleets.
– The livelihoods of EU citizens in our processing industry must be protected in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
– Scotland must have a place at the negotiating table to ensure that fishing becomes a priority – not a bargaining chip.
– The EMFF which is so important to fishing and ports and harbours is replaced and matched in full by the UKG in the event of Brexit.
Commenting, Tom Wills said:
Our seafood is renowned across Europe, and here in Shetland, hundreds of people are employed in the industry which is worth millions to Scotland’s economy.
This sector supports hundreds of jobs, livelihoods and businesses on these islands.
All of that is put at huge risk by the Tories – who sold out fishing on our way into Europe, and are gearing up to do so on the way out. We will be much worse off after Brexit as the Tories bargain away our fishing quotas as they try to negotiate deals for their pals in the City.
The Common Fisheries Policy is far from perfect, but it’s crucial that Scottish seafood retains full, tariff-free access to European markets – and those working in the industry must be confident of a secure future.
It won’t be easy with the Tories using Scotland’s fishing industry as a bargaining chip, and I can’t solve these problems overnight – but if elected as your MSP, I’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure Shetland’s fishing industry is protected and supported from day one.
Speaking on the campaign trail in Shetland, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing, said:
Fish worth over £63million was landed in Shetland in 2017 – together with farmed salmon and mussels, the seafood sector is worth a massive £320 million a year to Shetland.
Yet, Scotland’s fishing industry could end up with precisely no gains whatsoever from Brexit.
Worse, we would be forced to remain in the CFP without even having a voice or a say in negotiations during a transition period – which could of course be extended beyond 2020.
What we need is an MSP with real influence, one who will take part in Scottish Government discussions and work constructively to get results for Shetland’s booming fishing industry.