The new Prime Minister has praised the “vision” of a north-east MP on the future of the Scottish fishing industry post-Brexit.
Boris Johnson has committed to taking the UK out of the EU by October 31, and has said that Brexit offers the chance to reclaim control over UK fisheries.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid posed a question following Mr Johnson’s first statement to the house yesterday, asking the Prime Minister to confirm that the UK will become an independent coastal state upon leaving the EU and will negotiate annually on fishing rights.
Mr Johnson said: “My honourable friend is completely right and I congratulate him on the vision that he has for promoting Scottish fisheries and for using the opportunity of coming out of the EU to build that extraordinary industry.
“He and I have discussed this and I think we should be taking forward the plans he suggests.
“It is quite dismal to listen to the SNP because they would give back to Brussels control over fishing.
“What kind of a manifesto is that?”
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His response followed an earlier exchange with the SNP when Mr Johnson attacked the party for wanting to take an independent Scotland back into the EU.
Mr Duguid said: “I am very encouraged by the comments. As we prepare to leave the EU, there are huge opportunities for our catching sector, but we will also need investment in infrastructure and processing capacity in and around our ports like Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Macduff.”
SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson voiced his concerns about a no-deal Brexit, claiming it would be a “disaster for the fishing industry”.
He said: “If Boris Johnson plans to leave the EU without a deal, he needs to explain how he intends to protect the jobs of hundreds of fish-processing workers in the north-east whose livelihoods depend on lucrative European export markets.”