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Carmichael backs fishermen in Brexit talks

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has challenged Prime Minister Theresa May on the handling of fisheries within Brexit negotiations.

UK fishermen must have a say in quotas post-Brexit and the Common Fisheries Policy cannot be part of transitional arrangements says Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

During Prime Minister’s Question Time today, Mr Carmichael quizzed Prime Minister Theresa May on whether fishermen would continue to be subject to EU fisheries rules during the transitional period.

“Is it the Prime Minister’s intention that the UK should remain part of the Common Fisheries Policy during any transition period after we have left the European Union?” he asked.

In response, the Prime Minister confirmed that the UK will be leaving the policy when it leaves the EU.

“As part of the agreement that we need to enter into for the implementation period, obviously this and other issues will be part of that agreement, but when we leave the European Union, we will leave the Common Fisheries Policy,” she said

Speaking after the exchange, Mr Carmichael criticised Mrs May’s response.

“The question that I put to the Prime Minister could not have been more straightforward,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the same could not be said for her answer. Once we leave the EU we shall no longer have a seat at the table when the December Fisheries Council sets allowable catches and quotas for the following year. It is simply unacceptable that our fishermen should be left having to work to rules under which they have no say.

Mr Carmichael reaffirmed his belief that fishing should be a “ring-fenced” issue within Brexit negotiations.

“This shows the importance of that approach,” he continued.

“The Conservatives regarded the fishing industry as expendable 40 years ago. I fear that they may not have learned much since.”


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