Campbeltown’s SNP Councillor, John Semple, has sent a clear message to the Scottish Government of his own party – that any economic recovery in Kintyre and the Clyde Coast could be severely affected if a solution cannot be found for the cuts in fishing days being proposed by Europe to protect stocks of cod.
He says: ‘Our fishing fleet on the Clyde Coast operate a very lean and efficient business model in a very competitive market. They do not fish for cod nor did they cause the depletion in stocks.
Local skippers have alerted me to the proposals coming from Marine Scotland which could significantly affect their ability to compete and I have acted quickly to promote their interests.
‘I have alerted ministers at the highest level in Government and arranged a meeting between Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP and local skippers representatives while the DFM was in Campbeltown this week. She listened carefully and took away the concerns and recommendations of the skippers.
‘It is not right that our fishermen suffer due to dysfunctional European regulations which were negotiated second hand by Liberal and Conservative ministers who have never even set eyes on our west coast fisheries, whilst Scotland does not yet have a seat at the table when European Ministers discuss the future of our fishermen, we do have to implement the cuts which come to us via Westminster.
‘I hope that the easy accessibility I have been able to provide to the DFM will bare fruit but it is not only our fishermen who are struggling with one hand tied behind their backs, when it comes to Europe our Scottish Government is too. We need our own voice in our own affairs’.
The underlying reality here is that the UK and/or Scotland need now to be free of EU membership.
It is a dying organism and only the necrophiliac would have an interest in a continuing attachment to it.