The ongoing Brexit discourse that recently led to a massive turnout of remainers protesting against leaving the EU has also found its way to the fishing industry. Fishermen are worried that the industry will be used as a bargaining tool in the Brexit negotiations. Dan Wharton, a skipper at S&P Trawlers, says that the government is making a hard job even harder. He maintains that the policies are just not favourable as they seem to be stopping everything – “there’s no bass, there’s no ray quotas, no sole, no cod – it’s just knock after knock.”
Considering the announcement by the Scottish conservative members of parliament last week, the fishermen’s growing concern is not out of place. The MP’s stated that they would not support the Brexit deal if the common fisheries policy is to be extended. This policy contains the rules that govern fishing across the EU; it covers the management of fleets and stocks, and the setting of quotas.
Conservative party member, Douglas Ross (MP for Moray), said he would not be in support of any deal which would see the CFP extended beyond Dec. 2020. In the event that 13 of the party’s MP’s vote against the Brexit deal, the government would lose its House of Commons majority –an eventuality the government would most likely avoid. Ian Blackford, SNP Westminster leader, noted that Ross and the Conservatives are threatening a hard Brexit.
The politicians are clearly the proverbial elephants fighting, and the fishermen–the grass that suffers.