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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5O-01633: Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 13 December 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has made plans on the basis that the UK will remain in the common fisheries policy under the terms of any transitional agreement following Brexit, and whether it has discussed this matter with UK ministers.

Answered by: Fergus Ewing 20 December 2017

To protect Scotland’s interests in all circumstances, the Scottish Government is preparing for a range of Brexit scenarios.

We have sought to discuss the terms of any transitional agreement with the UK Government but our efforts have been hampered by a lack of clarity from the UK Government on its intentions and position on a range of key issues, including transition.

We do continue, however, to promote Scotland’s interests in our regular engagements with the UK Government; emphasising, in particular, the clearly devolved nature of fisheries and for this Parliament’s consent to be sought where Scotland’s interests are at stake.

The Prime Minister announced that the UK will leave the Common Fisheries Policy on 29 March 2019 in the UK Parliament on 18 December. Given that the EU has clearly and repeatedly said that agreement to a transition period is contingent on the UK adhering to all rules and obligations of EU membership during such a period, it is for the UK Government to clarify how this seeming contradiction can be overcome.

Scotland’s fishing industry and coastal communities need certainty and clarity – their jobs, businesses and livelihoods are, after all, at stake. They don’t need this constant muddle from a UK government which appears to make it up as it goes along.