Following the transition of the UK’s Fisheries Bill in to law as the 2020 Fisheries Act, Scotland’s Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing has warned that nothing in this legislation can compensate for the loss of seafood markets in the EU and the ensuing wider damage that it will cause to coastal communities.
‘While this Act will provide a necessary framework to manage fisheries from 1st January 2021, we continue to believe that the best future for Scotland is as an independent nation in the European Union,’ he said, commenting that with only a few weeks to go to the end of the transition period, the UK Government has yet to clarify how it will provide the multi-annual funding that was made available by the EU.
‘We will also continue to oppose, in the strongest possible terms, any attempt by the UK Government to undermine devolved competence over fisheries and other interests through its Internal Market Bill,’ he said.
‘The Fisheries Act demonstrates what we and many stakeholders have long argued – that frameworks, which are negotiated and agreed by the UK and devolved administrations, rather than being imposed by the UK Government, are the only tool needed to manage different policy approaches upon EU Exit. The Internal Market Bill is unnecessary, and will cut across the frameworks process and fundamentally undermine devolution,’ Fergus Ewing said.
‘The delivery of the Fisheries Act in Scotland will be supported through the development of our Future Fisheries Management plans. Sustainability will be at the heart of the strategy, which will be published before the end of the year.’