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Letters / ‘Total confusion’ over fishing policy

The Conservative candidate for Orkney and Shetland in next week’s general election, Jamie Halcro Johnston, was the first to sign the Brexit pledge by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) to exit the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Conservatives also intend to secure the best possible deal from Brexit for industries and the coastal communities across the whole of the UK.

At the BBC Radio Shetland Hustings on Tuesday evening, SNP candidate Miriam Brett confirmed that she had intentionally not signed the SFF pledge. She also expressed the SNP opposition to leaving the CFP in an incoherent and inaccurate argument which clearly showed its confusion on fishing policy and total lack of support for the local fishing industry. Alistair Carmichael signed the pledge but is campaigning for a second referendum with the intention of taking us back into the EU and, therefore the CFP. His position is both inconsistent and opportunistic.

The value of fish landed by Shetland boats is currently valued at approximately £80 million and almost 400 people are employed in fish catching plus hundreds more in processing, marketing, transport, engineering, etc.

Magnie Stewart wrote an enlightening letter in The Shetland Times (Sacrificing the fishing) some time ago outlining the dangers that SNP could inflict on Shetland’s most important traditional industry. Also, in a letter to Scottish Conservative MEP Dr Ian Duncan, EU fisheries commissioner Karmenu Vella said a new country joining the EU would not be able to opt out from the CFP, as one of the bloc’s ‘exclusive competence areas’.

SNP and LibDems are in total confusion over membership of the EU and the associated obligations to participate in the CFP. Only the Scottish Conservatives are committed to follow through on the democratic UK-wide vote to Leave the EU and the CFP.

Voting for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party is the logical choice for anyone in any way associated by the fishing industry – and everyone who wants a United Kingdom!

Maurice Mullay
Shetland Conservative Association