“Surely there is a case not just for putting Scotland in control of fisheries, but
for giving the Hebrides and island groups some power over them?
"We should certainly not leave them in charge of those in Westminster who sold them
down the river once and, given this White Paper, are looking to sell them down the
river yet again?"
Mr MacNeil drew attention to the ‘Our Islands, Our Future’ campaign led by island
local authorities which is seeking more devolution of decision making to a local
level and said fisheries was a solid example of where this could be put into practice.
He pointed out many in the fishing industry voted to leave the EU in last year’s
referendum but they did not expect to be treated as anything less than a “top priority”
Significant amounts of mackerel and herring are caught on the west coast of Scotland
- but no boats on the west coast have quota.
“That has to change,” said Mr Macneil.
Withdrawing from the EU will mean withdrawing from the Common Fisheries Policy.
The UK will have to renegotiate its quota of total allowable catches for stocks that
are shared with the EU and neighbouring countries.
Most fish caught by UK fleets are exported, mostly to EU member states.
Top priorities identified in the leaked UK Government report include pharmaceuticals,
car-making, textiles and clothing, aerospace and air transport; fishing and chemical
industries as medium priority; and steel construction, oil and gas and telecoms as
MP seeks local control for fisheries
15 February 2017
MP Angus MacNeil is calling for control of fishery zones west of the Hebrides to
be devolved to the islands post-Brexit.
His call follows claims the fishing industry does not appear to be a top priority
for the Tory Government in Brexit negotiations.
A document leaked to the Times suggests it has been designated to just ‘medium importance.’
In last week’s debate on the European Union Bill in the House of Commons, Mr MacNeil
said: "I represent probably the only constituency to reach 200 miles of the exclusive