Scottish Conservatives against EU fishing policy extension

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Scottish Conservatives MPs would vote down a Brexit deal if it includes extending the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The policy sets out the rules governing fishing across the EU to manage fish stocks and fleets, including the setting of quotas.

The party’s Douglas Ross, MP for Moray, said he could not support any deal which includes staying part of the CFP past the current exit date of 2020.

Concerns were raised this week over the possibility of the UK remaining part of the controversial policy beyond this date, after the Prime Minister indicated the transition period could be extended to secure a Brexit deal.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland programme, Mr Ross said: “I could not support a deal that would include staying in the Common Fisheries Policy beyond December 2020.”

He said an extension of even three months would be too long.

Douglas Ross MP
Douglas Ross said even a three-month extension to the policy was too long (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

If the party’s 13 MPs vote against the Brexit deal, it would lead to the government losing their House of Commons majority.

Mr Ross added: “I think what’s important is that we send out a very strong signal to everyone who is negotiating on behalf of the UK that this is an issue that is extremely important for our Scottish communities that we represent.

“My view is it will not come to that (a hard Brexit rather than staying in the CFP).

“They will see that there is a very clear, distinct message from the Scottish Conservatives, and indeed Scotland, that we cannot have the CFP.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford told the same programme: “What Douglas Ross and the Conservatives have to recognise is that they are threatening a hard Brexit.”

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