UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Sunday 21 July 2024
 12.2°C   WSW Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Letters / Bureaucratic chaos rather than a ‘sea of opportunity’

What an Eton mess! As Boris Johnson’s ‘oven-ready’ deal with the European Union fell to pieces on the kitchen floor of No. 10 Downing Street, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told his MPs to vote for the botched treaty, despite having accurately predicted its disastrous consequences.

The betrayal of the British seafood industry by the two biggest parties in the House of Commons is a national scandal. Brexit’s local consequences are lower prices for fish, as access to EU customers is closed off by red tape, and boats forced to tie up or steam hundreds of miles to land in Denmark.

Shetland fishermen who voted for Brexit and the Conservative Party were promised more fish. They now find they will have less. They were promised ‘a sea of opportunity’.  Now they must navigate a whirlpool of bureaucratic chaos and blocked markets.

In this omnishambles it’s heartening to hear the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP and Orkney and Shetland’s Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael exposing the dishonesty and incompetence of a Tory government with no mandate north of the border.

Both MPs voted against the shameful deal and are suggesting practical ways to solve the immediate financial crisis in the seafood industry.  Their efforts are commendable, but in London they’re powerless before an ignorant, arrogant Tory fisheries minister who represents an Oxfordshire constituency and couldn’t be bothered to read the fine print of the fisheries deal before she voted for it in the Commons last month.

Even if some interim arrangements are agreed to let Shetland resume regular, reliable seafood shipments to European markets, this Tory-designed crisis must be a time for serious reflection.

Many Shetlanders who’ve never considered voting for the SNP will now be thinking of supporting Scottish self-government in Holyrood’s election this coming May and at the independence referendum which must surely follow.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


An independent Scotland could quickly join the European Free Trade Area and enjoy the same control over our fisheries as Norway has.

Re-joining the European Union would obviously take longer but, if and when Scotland does become a full member, the deal would have to be very different from the current Common Fisheries Policy — which the SNP has opposed for almost 50 years.

It should be a deal based on local preference, local control and environmentally sustainable fishing methods.

Tom Wills
Shetland SNP

Maree Todd MSP
Scottish Parliament

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.