This deal de­liv­ers and lets us move on

David Duguid

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - NEWS -

It has been a thank­less task, but the prime min­is­ter con­tin­ues to do her level best to de­liver on the out­come of the 2016 ref­er­en­dum.

The British peo­ple voted, in a UK-wide vote, to leave the EU and this gov­ern­ment must fol­low through on that.

Most peo­ple I meet tell me they just want this gov­ern­ment “to get on and de­liver Brexit!”

Much of what has been said about the With­drawal Agree­ment and the im­pli­ca­tions for Scot­tish fish­ing – par­tic­u­larly on so­cial me­dia or by the SNP – has been mislead­ing or just plain wrong.

In a re­cent meet­ing with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the fish­eries sec­tor, I was able to ex­plain the ben­e­fits of this deal and lay var­i­ous con­cerns to rest.

The prize is still within sight – the UK out of the Com­mon Fish­eries Pol­icy and ne­go­ti­at­ing an­nu­ally as an in­de­pen­dent coastal state, just like other non-EU na­tions, such as Nor­way and Ice­land.

Noth­ing in this with­drawal agree­ment, and noth­ing Pres­i­dent Macron might say, stops that from hap­pen­ing.

I will con­tinue to hold the prime min­is­ter to her re­peated com­mit­ment that the UK will re­sist EU at­tempts to link ac­cess to wa­ters with trade.

But next week

Iwill be sup­port­ing her and vot­ing for this With­drawal Agree­ment.

It de­liv­ers for our fish­er­men and our farm­ers. It keeps busi­ness mov­ing and guar­an­tees the rights of EU cit­i­zens here and UK na­tion­als abroad.

We must move to the next stage – ne­go­ti­at­ing the ac­tual fu­ture fish­eries agree­ment. This deal al­lows us to do that.

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