As the UK Tories tie themselves in knots over Brexit and plead for special deals for the City of London, for Ireland, for Gibraltar and UK car manufacturing, they throw the fist sacrifice to the EU – Scotland’s fishing fleet.
Duped into voting No in 2014, voting Yes for Brexit and voting Tory last year, the owners of the Scottish fleet and their workers are slapped in the face with a wet haddock as the Tories fail to protect UK fishing waters from incursions by the massive fleets from Spain and France.
Anyone with a brain bigger than the average fish could have seen this coming. The fishing industry is very small economically compared to the revenues from City of London trade in financial services or UK car manufacturing. It’s now clear that the UK taxpayer will meet the full cost of access to European markets for these two. We are yet to see just how much Brexiteers will have to sacrifice to preserve soft borders for Ireland and Gibraltar but it is clear that voting No in 2014 has convinced the Tories that the Scots can be exploited with no fear of them seceding. The Scottish Tories have threated to revolt on this issue, but I’ll believe that when I see it. The Scottish media, including BBC Scotland, have also talked tough, for now, in their headlines:
Brexit: EU implementation agreement ‘betrays’ UK fishermen
Brexit deal sparks furious row over Scotland’s fishing industry
According to the Scotsman:
‘The announcement sparked a furious row between Scottish Tories and Downing Street, with Ruth Davidson warning that her MPs could vote against the final Brexit deal unless it contains firm guarantees that the UK will take full control of fishing rights in its waters after 2020. One Scottish Conservative MP compared the transition deal to a “pint of cold sick”.’
This alleged show of anger fills me with little confidence that they’ll even abstain never mind vote against the bill. Buying their support will cost Theresa far less than the DUP did.
Once we see the costs of the special deals for real priorities like the city of London and Nissan, and the Scottish fishing fleet sails up the Thames, saltires flying, surely enough No voters will get the message and turn?