Politics

Nicola Sturgeon warned bid to rejoin EU will be made ‘difficult’ by Scottish fishermen

Scotland rejoining fishing policy will be 'difficult' says expert

Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation Elspeth Macdonald told Express.co.uk many fishermen who campaigned for Brexit in Scotland would be opposed to the First Minister forcing their industry to comply with the EU’s CFP rules again. She said: “We have to think about the fact that the fishing industry is quite diverse, so there would be someone in the industry that probably would be worried about that.

“There would be others that might not be, depending on what part of the fishing industry they’re involved in.

“And I think also important that there’s other things that would affect how people vote in an independence referendum and all sorts of those things.

“But I think certainly for those in the industry who have campaigned for change and reform to the CFP that hasn’t happened and now see the opportunities for the UK industry to benefit from not being within the CFP.

“Then I think I see the prospect of rejoining and its route would be a difficult one.”

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Under current EU rules, any country seeking to join the bloc has to pledge to adopt the Euro as its currency and join the union’s border-free Schengen area.

It would also have to recommit to the European Common Fisheries policy giving Brussels control over Scottish fishing waters.

In a recent column for the Irish Times, Ms Sturgeon reiterated that independence is Scotland’s only route to rejoining the EU.

She wrote: “We are now faced with a hard Brexit against our will, at the worst possible time in the middle of a pandemic and economic recession.

“It will mean disruption in the short term, while establishing new long-term barriers.

“Our people will be less safe and their right to work, study and live elsewhere in Europe will be restricted.

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“This includes the loss of Erasmus, which saw more than 2,000 Scottish students, staff and learners use the scheme each year.

“It is therefore not surprising that a consistent majority of people in Scotland now say they are in favour of becoming an independent country.

“Scotland, like all nations, is unique.

“The same can be said of our constitutional circumstances.”

Scotland voted to remain part of the UK in 2014 by 55 percent of the vote to 45 percent.

The SNP voted against Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal when it came before Parliament on December 24.

Douglas Ross, the Conservative leader in Scotland, was fiercely critical of the decision.

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He tweeted: “Today the SNP will vote against the EU-UK Trade Deal and vote for a No Deal Brexit.

“Scottish Labour are unsure whether they are supporting #NoDealNicola or not.

“It is clear that only Scottish Conservatives can stand up to the SNP, and put Scottish jobs and livelihoods first.”

The end of the Brexit transition period means Britain no longer has to apply laws made in Brussels or pay into.

Mr Johnson said this means the UK now has “freedom in our hands” and can do things “differently and better” than the EU.

Under the new deal, Britain will continue to have tariff-free access to the EU’s internal market.

However, Northern Ireland remains within the European single market with some checks on goods travelling between it and the rest of Britain.

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