Theresa May pledges to stand up for fishermen ahead of Scotland visit

Theresa May will defend her Brexit deal on a visit to Scotland today, pledging to defend the interests of coastal communities in the ongoing row over fishing rights.

The Prime Minister will issue an appeal to businesses to get behind her deal, arguing that it will protect jobs and provide continued trading access to the European market.

“It is a deal that is good for Scottish employers and which will protect jobs,” Mrs May said ahead of her visit to a factory near Glasgow. “Crucially, the deal also ensures that we will leave EU programmes that do not work in our interests.

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“So we will be out of the common agricultural policy, which has failed our farmers, and out of the common fisheries policy, which has so tragically failed Scotland’s coastal communities.”
Responding to SNP claims the UK Government is prepared to “sell out” fishermen as part of efforts to secure a free trade deal with the EU, Mrs May said: “I have been robust in defending the interests of Scottish fisherman so far – and I will always be so.”

On a visit to Wales yesterday, the Prime Minister insisted work on a trade deal with the US was going “very well” after Donald Trump suggested her Brexit plan could stop the two countries sealing an agreement.

The US president heaped more pressure on her attempts to win a Parliamentary vote by describing the agreement she struck with Brussels as “a great deal for the EU”.

Mr Trump’s comments prompted a warning from Sir Michael Fallon, a former May loyalist, who said he could not vote for her deal because it represented “the worst of all worlds – no guarantee of smooth trade in the future and no ability to reduce the tariffs that we need to conclude trade deals with the rest of the world”.

Speculation is mounting about a possible TV debate on the Brexit deal between Mrs May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with suggestions it could take place on 9 December, two days before a vote by MPs. However, the government has rebuffed demands from the SNP for Nicola Sturgeon to take part, with the Cabinet Office minister David Lidington saying: “This is a debate between the leaders of the two biggest parties at Westminster”.