Gove: Holyrood will have ‘more fishing powers post-Brexit’

The UK Government has set out plans for British fishermen to receive a larger share.

The UK Government has set out plans for fishermen to receive a larger share of the total catch in British waters after Brexit.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said the plan was about “taking back control of UK waters” and claimed Holyrood will have “more power”.

The Scottish Government has criticised the white paper over a “totally unacceptable” lack of consultation with MSPs, however.

The paper, titled Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations, sets out plans for overhauling the the fishing system after the UK leaves the EU.

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It says the UK will be an “independent coastal state” with terms set to the benefit of fishermen.

Gove said: “Leaving the EU creates a sea of opportunity for our fishing industry. Outside the Common Fisheries Policy we can take back control of our waters and revitalise our coastal communities.

“We will be able to put in place our own systems, becoming a world leader in managing our resources while protecting the marine environment.”

He added: “There will be more power for the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government once we leave the European Union.

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“A majority of the fish which is caught and landed in the UK is caught and landed here in Scotland.

“So leaving the European Union is good news for the Scottish fishing community.”

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation welcomed the report, saying it resisted any attempt to link access to UK waters to access to EU markets.

SFF Chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: “Importantly, it also moves towards a system under which we can catch much more of our own natural resource, known as zonal attachment.

“We have been arguing for these key points consistently since the referendum in June 2016.

“Of course, there is a long way to go, and we now need our governments to show real backbone in the Brexit negotiations to ensure that these aspirations become reality.”

The Scottish Government’s environment secretary Fergus Ewing said ministers in Edinburgh had “significant concerns” about some of its proposals.

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With a significant part of the UK fishing industry based in Scotland, Mr Ewing hit out: “It is deeply frustrating that once again the UK Government has failed to substantively engage with us while developing its future fisheries proposals.

“This near lack of formal engagement presents a significant and continued risk to the current devolved settlements and is totally unacceptable.”


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