Have the Tories finally found a way to unite on Brexit?

By Beth Rigby, Senior Political Correspondent
Ever since Britain voted to quit the European Union, politics has divided as much down Remain versus Leave lines as it has across left and right.
Conservatives and Labour alike fighting amongst themselves about what Brexit should look like.
But finally, Conservatives across the Brexit chasm have found something to unite around: when it comes to fishing and British waters, both sides have found common ground.Theresa May's decision on Monday to allow the EU to maintain control of Britain's territorial waters until the end of 2020 has provoked fury on either side of the Brexit debate.
Have the Tories finally found a way to unite on Brexit?

Theresa May is meeting MPs to head off a rebellion
Remain-backing Scottish Tories, who won their seats on the back of promises made to fishermen about using Brexit to better their lot in life, are angered by what they see as a compromise too far by Number 10 on the terms of transition.Not taking back control of British waters on Brexit day goes directly against the demands of the Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson and the Environment Secretary Michael Gove.Ms Davidson's band of 13 Scottish MPs are bitterly disappointed. "It would be easier to get someone to drink a pint of cold sick than sell this as a success," is how Douglas Ross, MP for Moray, put it.
Have the Tories finally found a way to unite on Brexit?

Ruth Davidson refused to support a deal that did not return control to the UK
John Lamont, MP for coastal constituency Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, said the deal was not what he hoped for and warned Number 10 that "full control" over waters must come back after 2020."Anything less will be a betrayal of our fishing communities who voted for Brexit in large numbers."Meanwhile, Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the Eurosceptic European Reform Group, is so unhappy about the "sell out" on fisheries during the transition period that he will board a fishing boat on Wednesday and sail down the Thames in protest."The Secretary of State said 10 days ago that the UK would leave the Commons Fisheries Policy in 2019," the MP for Somerset told BBC's Newsnight."I don't know what's happened in this very short period. It is very unsatisfactory.":: Lost in transition - what have the EU and UK agreed?
Have the Tories finally found a way to unite on Brexit?

Jacob Rees-Mogg said the deal was 'very unsatisfactory'
Amid unhappiness across the camps, the Prime Minister will meet the Scottish Conservative MPs this afternoon to try to assuage their concerns.
But she does at least have some breathing space: with no vote in the House of Commons on the transitional deal, MPs' attention is instead turning to getting a good deal for fisherman once Britain quits the EU.Scottish MPs and leavers alike worry that Mrs May might sell out fishermen down the line.British waters are a precious bartering chip in this negotiation. It makes economic sense for the Government to trade away fishing quotas and rights over territorial waters in order to get a good deal on financial services.
Have the Tories finally found a way to unite on Brexit?

The EU's Michel Barnier unveiled the deal struck with Britain on Monday
After all, for some EU nations - France, Spain, Denmark - access to British waters are critical to their economies.EU vessels caught six times the amount of fish in UK waters as British fishermen caught in member states' waters in 2015.But for the UK, the fishing industry is a tiny part of the economy, accounting for 0.05% of GDP.One government source points out that the British fleet - 6,000 boats - isn't even big enough to fish all of our territorial waters.
Have the Tories finally found a way to unite on Brexit?

Michael Gove is determined to get a good deal for Scottish fishermen
The 13-strong Scottish group of Tories are a formidable voting bloc in Parliament.It is their success in the 2017 snap election which meant Mrs May could edge over the line to form a government and it is they who can vote her down on Brexit if they are unhappy with the deal for Scottish fishermen.In their corner, they will have the support of Brexiteer Michael Gove, who is determined to secure a good deal for Scottish fisherman.Against them will be Philip Hammond, who will want to give away fishing rights in order to help him get his much-desired trade deal for financial services.
More from Politics

PMQs LIVE: Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn face off over Brexit deal

Nigel Farage dumps dead fish in Thames in protest over Brexit transition deal

Brexit Forensics: Fishing industry could be hung out to dry

Jeremy Corbyn under fire for demanding Russia get chance to analyse Salisbury poison

Jennie Formby appointed Labour's new general secretary in boost for Jeremy Corbyn

Michael Gove admits Brexit transition deal 'sub-optimal' for UK fishing industry

The Chancellor is all too aware when it comes to the economy, it's the City and financial sector - which accounts for 11% of GDP - he must protect.But when it comes to politics, don't underestimate the fishermen.
See also:
Leave a comment
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Апрель 2020    »