Scottish Conservatives to force vote on reversing planned fishing ban in Scotland’s waters
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party press office
Monday 1 May 2023
FAO: all newsdesks
Embargo: 00.01am Tuesday 2 May
The Scottish Conservatives are urging MSPs to show their support for Scotland’s fishing and coastal communities by backing their calls for “deeply damaging” proposals on Highly Protected Marine Areas to be urgently reconsidered.
The party – led by shadow rural affairs secretary Rachael Hamilton – will use their parliamentary business time on Wednesday to call for the current plans put forward by the SNP-Green government to be dropped and looked at again.
Rachael Hamilton says the plans – which would see 10 per cent of Scotland’s waters designated as Highly Protected Marine Areas – have been designed by SNP-Green ministers with no scientific basis and are firmly opposed by the fishing sector and communities which would be affected.
Island councils, such as Argyll and Bute, Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles, have all strongly opposed the proposals.
Rachael Hamilton says SNP MSPs who have voiced concerns about the plans being “imposed” on Highland and island communities – including Kate Forbes, Fergus Ewing and Karen Adam – have a “perfect opportunity” to back up their “warm words” by voting for her party’s motion in the Parliament.
She added that the “overwhelming influence” of the so-called “wine bar revolutionaries” in the Greens, who have no idea of the rural way of life, is the driving force behind the proposals.
Scottish Conservative shadow rural affairs secretary Rachael Hamilton MSP, said: “The current proposals put forward in relation to Highly Protected Marine Areas from the SNP-Green government would be deeply damaging for our fishing and coastal communities.
“It is little wonder that the sector and those communities have lined up to oppose these plans in the strongest possible terms. The Scottish Conservatives share those concerns, which is why we are forcing a vote this week in Parliament.
“The time has come for MSPs of all political persuasion to row in behind our motion and stand up for our fishermen and coastal communities against these plans, which have been designed without any scientific basis.
“The SNP-Green plans are completely unworkable and must be urgently reconsidered. We have heard SNP MSPs representing Highland and island communities voice their opposition. Now they must back up their warm words and back our motion.
“Make no mistake, the overwhelming influence of the ‘wine bar revolutionaries’ in the Greens – who have no idea about the rural way of life – are the driving force behind this illogical plan.
“The Scottish Conservatives will always stand up for Scotland’s fishing industry and I hope that fellow MSPs will join me and my party in sending the strongest possible message to the nationalist coalition that their HPMA plans cannot go ahead.”Ω