First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Scottish Secretary David Mundell must resign if he is to retain a “scrap of principle or credibility” after details emerged of the post-Brexit fishing deal.
Asked about the issue at First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon said details of the new agreement appeared to show there would be no annual negotiations on quota shares.
Responding to a question from SNP MSP Alasdair Allan, she said: “The political declaration that has been agreed between the UK Government and the European Commission represents another Tory sellout of Scottish fishermen. What we see is the Scottish fishing industry being used as a bargaining chip in the wider trade talks.
“There’s no mention of annual negotiations which I know the UK Government was trying to secure and they failed. In terms of David Mundell’s position I would simply say this – his position is a matter for him, but if David Mundell is still in office by the end of today in light of this political declaration, he will have forfeited forever any last remaining scrap of principle or credibility that he had.”
Flu jab fears
Meanwhile, concerns have been raised over the availability of the winter flu vaccine.
Stand-in Tory leader Jackson Carlaw said many elderly people, some over the age of 85, had faced delays in getting in the jab.
Mr Carlaw asked the First Minister for an assurance that all people over the age of 75 would get the vaccine by the end of the month.
He said: “There are fresh questions of whether all ages groups will get it in time. I’m raising this matter today because this is now a major concern...
“We’re entering the flu season and I raise it to get the reassurance from the First Minister than NHS Scotland will ensure everyone who needs it will receive this vaccine without further delay. Will the First Minister give that reassurance to everybody who is watching now?”
Ms Sturgeon said: “Yes, I will give that reassurance. If there any individual issues, if they are brought to our attention, we will ensure that the arrangements that are in place are activated to in order to resolve those.”
‘Teachers paying for pens and books for pupils’
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said teachers were paying for pens and books for pupils out of their own pockets because the country’s schools are “starved of cash”.
He said: “Little wonder that this week Scotland’s teachers emphatically rejected the SNP’s pay offer. Teachers, parents, pupils right across Scotland are asking, First Minister, how can education be your top priority with under-funded schools and under-valued teachers?”
Scottish Greens leader Patrick Harvie also raised the issue of the teachers’ pay deal.
He said: “Last month when we might have expected a few thousand people to march for a fair pay settlement, we saw 30,000 take to the streets.
“This week the results of the ballot are in. Three-quarters of those eligible took part in the ballot and the deal was rejected by an astonishing 98 per cent. None of us need a maths teacher to help us understand those numbers.”
Ms Sturgeon responded: “I under the strength of feeling that teachers have expressed in their ballots.
“We’ll got back to the table and we’ll continue to seek a reasonable agreement in good faith. Pay awards have to be affordable. I would love to give teachers and all public sector workers a 10 per cent pay rise, but that is simply not affordable in a single year.”