Scots farm­ing and fish­ing chiefs ea­ger to move on to next stage

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

Boris John­son’s re­vised Brexit deal has been given the thumbs-up by north­east Tories, farm­ers and fish­er­men.

The prime min­is­ter’s deal has, how­ever, been crit­i­cised by the SNP and Lib Dems who say it still risks plung­ing Scot­land into eco­nomic chaos.

Aberdeen North SNP MP Kirsty Black­man said: “This deal is worse than Theresa May’s deal.

“It will put Scot­land at a com­pet­i­tive dis­ad­van­tage to North­ern Ire­land which will now have a dif­fer­ent sta­tus.

“We put for­ward a sim­i­lar com­pro­mise in 2016. We wanted Scot­land in the sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union but that was re­jected out of hand.”

In­ver­ness SNP MP Drew Hendry, mean­while, said: “Brexit, in any form, will be deeply dam­ag­ing to the High­land econ­omy.

“We are set to lose hun­dreds of mil­lions of vi­tal EU fund­ing, our pub­lic ser­vices and in­dus­tries face un­prece­dented chal­lenges be­cause of the UK Gov­ern­ment’s ob­ses­sion with end­ing free­dom of move­ment.

“Scot­land did not vote for Brexit in any form and my SNP col­leagues and I will not vote for a deal that would see us ripped out of the cus­toms union and sin­gle mar­ket.”

Orkney and Shet­land Lib Dem MP Alis­tair Carmichael said: “This is not a deal that any­one want­ing to pro­tect our econ­omy or the unions that make up the United King­dom can sup­port.

“I am par­tic­u­larly c o n c e r n e d b y t h e sug­ges­tion that dif­fer­ent rules could ap­ply to North­ern Ire­land.”

The crit­i­cism that has flowed from op­po­si­tion politi­cians was, how­ever, dis­missed by Aberdeen South Tory MP Ross Thom­son.

He said: “It is a new deal that means that we fi­nally take back con­trol of our laws, trade, bor­ders and money with­out dis­rup­tion, and pro­vides the ba­sis of a new re­la­tion­ship with the EU based on free trade and friendly co­op­er­a­tion.”

And West Aberdeen­shire and Kin­car­dine Tory MP An­drew Bowie said: “We now have a deal that al­lows us to im­ple­ment the re­sult if the 2016 ref­er­en­dum, but that al­lows us to do so on good terms with our Euro­pean friends and part­ners.

“We must now get on a de­liver this.”

Mo­ray Tory MP Dou­glas Ross said: “I will be sup­port­ing the deal.”

Na­tional Farm­ers Union Scot­land pres­i­dent An­drew Mc­Cor­nick also wel­comed the PM’s deal.

He said: “The re­vised agree­ment which has been found be­tween the UK and the EU to­day is the first step to agree­ing a new re­la­tion­ship with the EU which NFU Scot­land be­lieves must main­tain as free and fric­tion­less trade as pos­si­ble.”

Scot­tish Fish­er­men’s Fed­er­a­tion boss El­speth Mac­don­ald said: “More than three years af­ter the ref­er­en­dum, we hope that Satur­day marks the turn­ing point when we can move to the next stage.”

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