Commenting on the failure of the Conservative government to give direct answers on the status of foreign trawlers in UK waters after Brexit, Liberal Democrat candidate for Orkney and Shetland, Alistair Carmichael, said the uncertainty was "unacceptable". The Conservatives have avoided discussing details of fisheries negotiations after Brexit but Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said that access of foreign trawlers to UK waters would be "a subject of negotiation".
Speaking while campaigning on Whalsay today, Mr. Carmichael said:
"The fact that days from this critical election we still don't know what the Tories actually plan to do with our fisheries in EU negotiations is deeply concerning. There is no clarity whatsoever on the status of foreign trawlers.
"Scottish fishermen are fed up with being used as a political bargaining chip by the Tories. There are a range of views on the correct path forward within the fishing industry but we can all agree that their use and abuse by the Conservative Party is unacceptable."
"It is not enough to talk about the opportunities of Brexit if you are simply going to trade away those opportunities in search of a better deal. Across the country we agree that the Common Fisheries Policy needs root-and-branch reform. The fact that Boris Johnson moved fisheries out of the legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement and into the Political Declaration will have a direct impact on fishermen in the coming months and suggests that the current Government wants to keep this on the table to be traded away. This double-dealing cannot be accepted."