Date lodged: 24 February 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what preparations have been made for Scotland regarding the UK leaving the common fisheries policy.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 2 March 2017
The Scottish Government does not yet know what approach the UK Government might take to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) during any negotiation on UK exit from the European Union. The Scottish Government has in particular sought an undertaking from the UK Government that it will not enter into an agreement with the EU to continue present arrangements that allow EU vessels access to UK and Scottish waters. The Scottish Government's view is that the rules of the CFP should not apply in Scottish waters if the UK leaves the EU.
Fisheries is a devolved matter under the Scotland Act, and so the Scottish Government has power over the regulation of sea fisheries in the Scottish zone of the UK Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Accordingly, the Government is undertaking discussions now with representatives of fishermen in Scotland and other interested parties about the design and conduct of fisheries management in the Scottish zone, and what improvements might be possible should the CFP no longer apply in our waters.