Shetland Fishermen’s Association has urged the UK’s negotiators to stand firm as talks over the future relationship between the UK and EU began.
‘Our European colleagues do not appear to have grasped the fact that we are no longer part of the EU, and we are no longer prepared to be subservient to the European Commission,’ said SFA executive officer Simon Collins, referring to the EU’s insistence that its fishing fleets should enjoy the same rights in UK waters after December 2020 as they have had under the Common Fisheries Policy.
‘The UK is legally a sovereign state once again. Sovereign states strike trade and other deals with each other in their mutual interests. They do not – or should not – claim rights to plunder another country’s natural resources. The idea that the EU should continue to occupy British waters as it pleases makes a mockery of our new position under international law,’ he said.
‘Our negotiators need to stand firm in the face of such arrogance and deliver what they have promised – a coastal state with control over the fish in UK waters and the right to manage stocks in a proper, sustainable fashion. That way, we can revitalise our hard-pressed coastal and island communities through jobs and investment.’