Brexit Fishing Deal Harder To Swallow Than A 'Pint Of Cold Sick,' Says Tory MP

Ned Simons

Theresa May has been warned by a Tory MP that the draft Brexit agreement is harder to sell to voters than a “pint of cold sick”.

Under plans unveiled today, the EU will still set fishing quotas during the transition period between March 2019 and December 2020.

Douglas Ross, the MP for Moray, said on Monday, said fishermen would react with “anger and disappointment” to the plan.

“There is no doubt that the EU was unwilling to move on this issue which underlines why so many in fishing communities voted to leave.

“The EU does not care about Scottish fishermen and neither do the SNP Scottish Government which actually wants us to re-join the Common Fisheries Policy and the EU.

“But I have to say that the UK Government has delivered far less than I hoped and expected.

“There is no spinning this as a good outcome, it would be easier to get someone to drink a pint of cold sick than try to sell this as a success.

He added on Twitter: “I hope my disappointment on behalf of Moray fishermen is clear and I will now be redoubling my efforts to ensure their interests are protected during the implementation period and any final deal that does not deliver, unequivocally, full control over fish stocks and vessel access will not have my support.”

The deal announced today will see the UK leave the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) the day it exits the EU in March 2019.

But the UK has agreed to stick to CFP rules during the transition period.

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader, said having to wait until 2020 to “assume full control” of fishing waters was “an undoubted disappointment”.

She added: “I will not support a deal as we leave the EU which, over the long-term, fails to deliver that full control over fish stocks and vessel access.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister and SNP leader, said the agreement was a “massive sellout”.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation said today the UK-EU draft text “falls far short of an acceptable deal”.

Chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: “We will leave the EU and leave the CFP, but hand back sovereignty over our seas a few seconds later.

“Our fishing communities’ fortunes will still be subject to the whim and largesse of the EU for another two years.”

During the transition period, the UK will have to abide by all EU rules until the end of the transition but will not have any say in deciding them.

In exchange, the UK will be allowed to negotiate new international trade deals during the period at the same time as retaining the benefits of the single market and customs union.

But a crucial agreement to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland remains unresolved.