Theresa May threatens EU fishing ban to win over Scottish Tories

Theresa May's Brexit plan is forecast to damage the UK economy but by nowhere near as much as a no-deal Brexit (Picture: Liam McBurneyAFP/Getty Images)
Theresa May's Brexit plan is forecast to damage the UK economy but by nowhere near as much as a no-deal Brexit (Picture: Liam McBurneyAFP/Getty Images)
0
Have your say

European fishing boats could be banned from entering UK waters unless the EU agrees to the terms London sets down in talks on post-Brexit fishing, the Prime Minister has threatened in a bid to secure support from Scottish Conservatives.

It came as every Scottish Tory MP and MSPs signed a pledge from the Scottish Fishermens’ Federation to vote against “any arrange-ments that would extend our membership of the common fisheries policy (CFP) beyond December 2020” or that prevent the UK from controlling fishing access and quota shares.

Ahead of a visit to Scotland yesterday, Theresa May replied to a letter signed by all 13 Scottish Tory MPs, setting out concerns that her Brexit deal could leave fishermen bound by EU rules for years after leaving the bloc. Mrs May insisted that a new fisheries agreement would be a “radical departure from the unfairness of the common fisheries policy”, and hit back at French president Emmanuel Macron, who suggested he would force the UK to stay inside the customs union if the EU wasn’t given access to British fishing waters. “In 2020 we will negotiate as
a fully independent coastal
 state for fishing opport-unities in 2021, as Norway does,” she wrote. “If there is no fisheries agreement with the EU by then, of course, no EU country’s fishing fleet will have access to our waters.”

However, the Prime Minister stopped short of committing not remain CFP beyond the end of 2020 if the post-Brexit transition phase is extended, merely acknowledging that MPs and the fishing industry would find that “unacceptable”.