Brexit transition deal breaks seven promises made by ministers, say campaigners – as it happened
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Scotland’s rural economy secretary, Fergus Ewing, has lambasted the Tories after the UK government agreed to keep the common fisheries policy in place for the full two year Brexit transition period.
Ewing accused Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader, and Michael Gove, the UK environment secretary, of breaking promises that the UK would immediately pull out of the CFP on the day of Brexit.
Remaining in the controversial policy, which gives EU fleets a large share of UK landings, has in fact emerged as one of the UK’s main concessions to win a deal on the two year transition period after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. Ewing said:
The Tories have sold out the Scottish fishing industry once again and Ruth Davidson should be shame-faced for her fastest broken Brexit promise yet. Just last week she said ‘Britain will leave the CFP as of March 2019’.
Now we know not only will the UK have to abide by CFP rules during the transition period, it will lose the voting rights it has now. The Tories have delivered the worst possible outcome for Scotland’s fishing industry.
Davidson acknowledged on Monday the deal was not to her liking, describing it as an “undoubted disappointment.” She said:
Having spoken to fishing leaders today, I know they are deeply frustrated with this outcome. I’ve made clear to them that I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure their interests are protected during the implementation period and beyond.
The deal is uncomfortable puts both the Tories and the Scottish National party in difficult territory. The Tories won six prized SNP seats in north east Scotland, a stronghold for the British fishing industry, partly on promises of delivering Brexit.
The SNP, however, still insists that an independent Scotland would rejoin the EU, and with it the CFP. Ewing’s stress on Davidson’s broken promises works only so far.