Saturday, 15 December 2018 06:29

O’HARA BRANDS SCOTTISH LABOUR AND TORY MPS AS “SHAMEFUL” AS THEY JOIN FORCES TO SELL-OUT SCOTLAND’S FISHING COMMUNITIES

Argyll and Bute MP, Brendan O’Hara criticised a Scottish Labour MP for joining forces with the Tories to vote down a key amendment to the Fisheries Bill which would have required UK government ministers getting consent from Holyrood over fishing opportunities, rather than being able to bypass them.

As it stands, the Fisheries Bill would only require UK government ministers to inform and consult Scottish ministers but would give no meaningful say or veto to Holyrood over protecting Scotland’s fishing interests.

Brendan O’Hara MP, who sits on the Public Bill Committee which has been scrutinising the Bill, warned that the move was another dangerous shift towards a Westminster Brexit power grab, and the reality that Scottish Labour MPs are working with Scottish Tory MPs to sell-out Scotland’s economic interests and industries.

The amendment - proposed by Mr O’Hara - was voted down at the Public Bill Committee considering the UK Fisheries Bill, including by Labour's Paul Sweeney MP.

Commenting, Brendan O’Hara MP said:

"It is utterly shameful that as the Tory government prepares the ground for a betrayal of Scotland's fishing communities, Scottish Labour MPs are also working hand in hand with the Tories to sell out Scotland's fishing communities and grab devolved powers from Holyrood.

“The fishing industry in Scotland has been treated as a bargaining chip by the Tory government throughout its negotiations with the EU.

"It's clear that, both in Westminster and Holyrood, it is the SNP standing up for Scotland’s interests and fighting to ensure that it does not fall victim to a Tory Brexit power grab sponsored by Scottish Labour.

“On the same day as the Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish Parliament was entitled to pass its own legislation to prepare Scotland's laws for Brexit, it cannot be the case that the UK government plots to bypass the Scottish Government over issues relating directly to Scotland's interests and businesses.

"Scottish Labour, Tory and Lib Dem MPs today had an opportunity to put their money with their mouths are and stand up for Scotland's fishing communities. Instead, Labour and Tory MPs voted against them whilst the Lib Dems sat silent and shamefully abstained.”

“On 11th January, I will be hosting a summit for our Scottish West Coast Fishermen in conjunction with the Communities Inshore Fisheries Alliance to hear first-hand from those in the industry with very serious and very legitimate concerns.  This will be high on the agenda.”

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