Leaving the common fisheries policy will allow the UK to take back control of our waters, becoming an independent coastal state. We will negotiate a fairer share of fishing opportunities to benefit fishermen in Scotland and across the whole United Kingdom.
I thank my right hon. Friend for the positive assessment that he has just given the prospects not just for Scotland’s fishing industry from leaving the EU’s common fisheries policy, but for the whole UK’s. Does he agree, though, that those benefits will be lost if we listened to the arguments of those who want to separate our Union but reunite Scotland with the European Union’s common fisheries policy?
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The SNP is a false friend to Scottish fishermen. It wants to keep Scotland in the CFP by staying in the EU, and, failing that, it wants an independent Scotland to rejoin the CFP. Throughout the negotiations, this Government have shown that they have put the interests of Scottish fishermen and those across the UK at the heart of our approach to leaving the EU.
I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman, a former colleague, will find that that is an accurate interpretation of the Government’s position. Colleagues such as my hon. Friend the Member for Banff and Buchan (David Duguid) have argued strongly for that case, and we will see what happens when the Bill returns on Report.