Nicola Sturgeon has underlined her opposition to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) when she said she was unable to support the arrangement that gives European fishing fleets access to EU waters.
At First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon said she was against the CFP even though rejecting it would be incompatible with the SNP’s desire for Scotland to retain EU membership. Members of the EU are required to sign up to the CFP.
The First Minister was asked about the issue by Green co-convener Patrick Harvie.
Mr Harvie said that if it not been for the CFP there would be no cod left in the sea or in the shopes.
“Surely the Scottish Government must accept that whether we are in or out of the European Union that shared approach to a shared environmental resource will always be necessary,” Mr Harvie said.
Ms Sturgeon replied saying the CFP was “unfair” to Scottish fishermen.
She said: “I’m on record, my party is on record... I think it was back in 2004 that a SNP MP introduced a member’s bill in the House of Commons to try to argue that we should come out of the Common Fisheries Policy.
“The Common Fisheries Policy, even taking account of the points that Patrick Harvie makes, is not fair to Scottish fishermen. That’s why I don’t support it.”
Earlier Ms Sturgeon failed to give an explicit commitment to start campaigning to get back into the EU immediately after Brexit when challenged to do so by Mr Harvie.
Mr Harvie said: “Will the First Minister commit to not only continuing to oppose the Brexit process in principle, but also if this is done to us and we are dragged out of Europe to immediately campaign to get back in as a full member state?”
Ms Sturgeon restricted her reply to saying: “My views on membership of the European Union are no mystery. I oppose Brexit in principle. I don’t want us to leave the EU and I want to see Scotland continue to be a proud European nation.”