Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called on the Government not to use fisheries as a “bargaining chip” in trade negotiations with the European Union. Speaking after meeting members of the Norwegian Fisheries Select Committee in Westminster and meeting the Chairperson of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee last week, Mr. Carmichael voiced concern that the Conservatives lacked the political will to honour its promises to fishermen over the Common Fisheries Policy.
Mr. Carmichael said:
“Documents from the European Commission make it plain that they see the status quo as the goal for fisheries negotiations. The Government must prove it has some political will to fulfil the many promises made about an independent fisheries policy during and after the election. Their words say one thing. Actions speak louder. The move of fisheries from the binding Withdrawal Agreement into the non-binding Political Declaration already suggests that the Government may not be all that invested in “taking back control” in this area.
“We saw the irony last week of a Brexit Party MEP complaining that we will spend the rest of 2020 under the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy. This is a direct consequence of the Government’s abandonment of our fishermen.”
“Northern Isles fishermen remember all too well the last time a Tory Government treated the fishing industry as expendable. Repeated, explicit promises by this Government to fishermen must be respected. Fisheries are not Boris Johnson’s bargaining chip with Brussels.”