He did state that the deal brought clarity to exporters, but was contingent on additional support for the industry being forthcoming. He went on to say that the deal "was far from perfect" and that export-related documentation and certification, regardless of size or value, would add hundreds of pounds to the costs of delivering to EU customers.
Meanwhile, Andrew Locker, Chair of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations, says they have been given "a fraction of what we were promised through Brexit. We're really going to struggle this year.” Elspeth Macdonald, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, stated: “The adjustments to UK shares of fish are modest at best, and in some cases will leave us with very practical fisheries management problems.” And Mike Park, Chief Executive of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association, added "Setting politics aside, the members of the SWPA are deeply aggrieved at the very challenging situation they now face for 2021".I suppose, for Mr Stephen, a qualified acceptance of the deal by one out of four is better than nothing.
Gill Turner, Derby Street, Edinburgh
Your report on the shelving in 2006 of the private member’s bill to impose a levy on plastic bags (Scotsman Online, January 1), due to lack of support in Holyrood, might have credited its advocate Mike Pringle, MSP for Edinburgh South – clearly a man ahead of his time (and purely incidentally, and with no bias on my part whatsoever, my brother-in-law).
John Birkett, Horseleys Park, St Andrews, Fife
R White (Letters, January 1) laments that financial services will leave in the event of Scottish independence. He need not worry, they are already leaving, and relocating to Dublin and Frankfurt, thanks to Brexit. The deal leaves a gaping hole where financial services are concerned, 80 per cent of the UK economy, according to some sources. From yesterday they will need permission to trade in the EU as the deal has simply missed this sector out. Even Boris has admitted his world-stopping deal is defective in omitting financial services. Mutual recognition of professional qualifications will also end, courtesy of Boris’s deal, meaning any British-earned degree in economics or any professional discipline or standard will struggle to be recognised in Europe.
Mairianna Clyde, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh
Joyce McMillan (Perspective, January 1) should stop seeing those who voted for Brexit through the glasses of nationalism (although no doubt some did vote that way). Doing so does not answer the question as to why millions of ordinary working people voted to leave the EU.
Another reason is shown by Labour MP Liz Kendall, who pointed out that many took the opportunity to vote against a system that they think does not work for them, does not benefit them. The fact that millions think like this would not occur to Ms McMillan.
William Ballantine, Dean Road, Bo'ness, West Lothian
Kenny MacAskill believes that "Scotland's at an energy disadvantage" (Perspective, December 31). He complains that the higher transmission charges for Scottish electricity by the National Grid are a disincentive to invest in Scotland. If that is the case, why are hundreds of turbines situated so far North? He has obviously not been out much over the last ten years or he would have seen thousands of wind turbines littering our landscapes. The developers, mostly foreign, were obviously not put off by “higher transmission charges” as they enjoyed churning out expensive electricity and sucking in the multi-millions of pounds of constraint payments when the grid did not need their excess electricity. These charges end up on our electricity bills, causing fuel poverty.
Mr MacAskill and the SNP would achieve Independence for Scotland very quickly if they pointed out that the rest of the UK is unfairly paying for Scotland's constraint payments and transmission charges on their electricity bills. The rest of the UK would be demanding Independence from a heavily subsidised Scotland.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow
War of words
The Scottish Government video (“Government ‘peddling SNP propaganda’ in Brexit film”, January 1) showing the effects Boris' deal will have on Scotland is accurate, which is probably what bothers Tory MP Douglas Ross most. Our export-driven economy will be harmed, migration will fall, businesses will be burdened with expensive bureaucracy – something the Tories are supposed to hate – and our national security will be damaged.
He ignores the propaganda video from the UK government that falsely claims this deal fully delivers on what the British people voted for. Boris’s deal ignores services, the basis of the UK economy, since the Tories destroyed manufacturing, and ensures the UK economy will shrink by 5-7 per cent. We lose freedom of movement, students lose the chance to study in the EU and our universities are haemorrhaging faculty and funding. Northern Ireland remains in the EU trading bloc, while Scotland is outside. What the UK gains apart from freedom from the European Court of Justice are freeports, something it had under EU rules until it decided to give them up in 2012 because they provided no benefit, since the UK was part of the EU single market. Now they suddenly do because by leaving the EU, we’ve lost the tariff-free movement of goods and services at our borders.
Ross voted for this raw deal rather than represent the Scottish people who voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU. As a result, our Parliament refused to give consent to Boris’ deal as it refused consent to the devolution-wrecking UK Internal Market bill.
The British State propaganda machine, in full flow with the Downing Street “Union Unit” set up to counter the growing support for Scottish independence, and Edinburgh’s Queen Elizabeth House staffed by 3.000 civil servants to overrule our Parliament, is doomed to fail. We are witnessing the dying gasps of a Union not fit for purpose.
Leah Gunn Barrett, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh
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