May: Brexit Deal Will See UK 'Take Back Full Control' Over Its Waters

28 November 2018, 07:23

Theresa May Brexit

Theresa May will insist her draft Brexit deal gives the UK "full sovereign control over our waters" as she attempts to allay concerns over its impact on fishermen.

The Prime Minister will travel to Scotland on Wednesday as she seeks to promote the agreement she says is a "good deal" for businesses both north and south of the border.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already claimed Mrs May is lining up Scotland's fishing sector to be used as a "bargaining chip" in negotiations with Europe post-Brexit.

Ms Sturgeon's Scottish Government has also published analysis claiming the draft Brexit deal could result in a "loss equivalent to £1,610 per person in Scotland compared to EU membership by 2030".

Mrs May, who is touring Britain in an attempt to sell the deal direct to voters, will argue the ability for the UK to strike its own trade deals with non-EU countries for the first time in decades could benefit "iconic" Scottish industries such as salmon and Scotch whisky.

The Conservative leader is due to visit a factory near Glasgow to speak about how she believes the deal - which will be voted on by MPs in the House of Commons next month - will provide certainty for employers.

She will say: "It is a deal that is good for Scottish employers and which will protect jobs. It includes a new free trade area with no tariffs, fees, quantitative restrictions or rules of origin checks - an unprecedented economic relationship that no other major economy has.

"At the same time, we will be free to strike our own trade deals around the world - providing even greater opportunity to Scottish exporters.

"Crucially, the deal also ensures that we will leave EU programmes that do not work in our interests. So we will be out of the common agricultural policy, which has failed our farmers, and out of the common fisheries policy (CFP), which has so tragically failed Scotland's coastal communities.

"At long last, we will be 'an independent coastal state' again - taking back full sovereign control over our waters, and free to decide for ourselves who we allow to fish in our waters."

Scottish Tory MP for Aberdeen South, Ross Thomson, has already voiced concerns the draft deal could lead to the "continuation of some form of the CFP".

He said: "It may not be called that but if it looks like the CFP and behaves like the CFP then it is the CFP and that's why we need to resist it as we go into these negotiations."

But Mrs May will pledge to always be "robust" when it comes to defending the rights of Scottish fisherment.

She will say: "The EU maintained throughout the negotiation process that it wanted to link overall access to markets to access to fisheries.

"It failed in the withdrawal agreement and it failed again in the political declaration.

"I have been robust in defending the interests of Scottish fisherman so far - and I will always be so."