North-east Conservatives have admitted that local fishermen are “understandably angry” after holding a face-to-face meeting with skippers in Peterhead yesterday.
The talks were held at the end of a week in which the Tories were accused of a “betrayal” of the sector after agreeing to keep current quota arrangements during the Brexit transition period, to December 2020.
The move was signed-off despite Scottish party leader Ruth Davidson and UK environment secretary Michael Gove pledging that Britain would quit the Common Fisheries Policy from March next year.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid and north-east region MSP Peter Chapman faced the skippers at Peterhead’s Dolphin Cafe, next to the harbour office and fish market.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Duguid said: “There is clearly a lot of anger in our fishing communities – here in Banff and Buchan and indeed across the UK – about the transition deal agreed this week.
“This is the first opportunity I have had since the announcement to talk face-to-face with skippers in Peterhead and it is important that we maintain that dialogue.
“We are all disappointed, but we must remain focused on the end game and ensure that we have full control over our waters from December 2020.”
Mr Chapman added: “It is incredibly frustrating that we are in this position of having to endure a longer transition period than we wanted.
“Skippers are understandably angry, and I share that anger, but we have to remain focused on the end result and getting the right deal.”
At Holyrood on Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have seen a broken promise and a complete betrayal by the Scottish Tories of the Scottish fishing industry. It is disgraceful.”