THE MESSAGES from two by-election candidates and their supporters on the campaign trail today (Friday) couldn’t have been more different.
While visiting the fishing community of Whalsay with SNP candidate Tom Wills, newly elected MEP Christian Allard called on EU nationals living in Shetland to “send Boris Johnson a message” over Brexit in he upcoming by-election.
Conservative candidate Brydon Goodlad, meanwhile, said both the SNP and Lib Dems had not accepted the outcome of the democratic referendum, insisting that the Tories were the only main party that committed to leaving the EU.
The French born MEP, who has been living in Scotland for more than 30 years, described freedom of movement as “essential” to the future prosperity of public services in Scotland and called on voters to make clear that Shetland says no to Brexit.
“Sadly, EU nationals have been used as a bargaining chip by the Tories from the very start of this Brexit process,” he said.
“Boris Johnson and his band of hard right Brexiteers are determined to drag Scotland out of the EU regardless of the consequences to our economy – ending freedom of movement in the process.
“Shetland’s NHS and care sector would simply cease to function without EU nationals.
“Businesses in the fishing, farming and hospitality sectors would also struggle to stay afloat. The movement of people is essential to Scotland’s future prosperity. Shetland’s future lies in Europe.”
Goodlad, however, insisted that the UK’s future – and Shetland’s – was outside of the EU.
“In this by-election, people in Shetland have a clear choice”, the candidate for the Conservatives said.
“The Liberal Democrats would betray the outcome of the UK-wide vote to leave. Three years on, they have not accepted the result and have made clear they want to overturn it.
“A vote for the SNP risks dragging our fishermen back into the Common Fisheries Policy, which has been disastrous for coastal communities all over Scotland.
“Only the Scottish Conservatives are committed to respecting the result of the 2016 referendum and delivering Brexit.
“If elected, I will stand up for our fishing industry and ensure our coastal communities enjoy the benefits of leaving the EU and taking back control of our waters.”
There are ten candidates contesting the Shetland by-election on 29 August.
They are in alphabetical order: Johan Adamson (Scottish Labour), Brydon Goodlad (Scottish Conservatives), Stuart Martin (UKIP), Debra Nicolson (Scottish Greens), Ian Scott (independent), Michael Stout (independent), Peter Tait (independent), Ryan Thomson (independent), Tom Wills (SNP) and Beatrice Wishart (Scottish Liberal Democrats).
Read more about all ten candidates at our special Shetland by-election page at: https://www.shetnews.co.uk/category/features/election-2019/