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Brexit’s inevitable fishing fiasco is nothing to joke about

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THE UK Brexiteers say there are teething problems in the fishing fiasco. It is more like a sink hole! Only the British fish are “happy” they are not being caught and eaten, according to Rees-Mogg. Another Joke Bloke and misplaced comment. The “coastal nation” cannot move its fish beyond the coast.

The fishing leaders in the UK fell for the faux promises “hook, line and sinker”. The Westminster fishing minister had not read the deal chapters on fishing either. What a disaster for the Scottish fishing communities.

It is worth quoting Michel Barnier, who said new regulatory frictions causing disruption to trade with the EU are an “obvious and inevitable” consequence of Brexit.

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He indicated that the UK will not be able to rewrite structural changes that have led to checks on agricultural exports and the confiscation of lorry drivers’ packed lunches, telling the Financial Times: “This agreement will not be renegotiated, it now needs to be implemented.”

Mr Barnier warned Brussels will be “vigilant on all fronts” in policing UK implementation of the deal.

When we see that the EU is fully au fait with the deal but read in the UK media that the PM has not read the documentation in full, but his merely “aware of it”, the Union is indeed falling away fast.

As the pressures mount on No 10, one can surmise that the PM will resign soon. He likes the life of being the jester, but he is actually a joke.

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John Edgar

Kilmaurs

I WOULD like to ask Mr Jack, currently looking like the last “Viceroy of Scotland”, just how good was the stitching in the Tories’ promised seamless exit from the EU, as it comes apart at the seams?

I am more concerned for my town and the impact of Mr King taking his shellfish business out of Kirkcudbright to an EU port to save it from collapse. The loss of a business worth an estimated £7 million to the local economy would destroy Kirkcudbright and many of its small businesses.

Maybe Mr Jack would like to comment on how or why the Tory fisheries minister okayed the fishery part of the Brexit Bill without reading it?

The reality is the Johnson bluster of “waiting for the initial mess to settle down after a few months” will not save many of the Scottish SMEs reliant on Scotland’s shellfish industry as a whole, a sector currently losing an estimated £1m a day in sales. According to a recent LSE study, Scotland’s pre-Brexit economy was worth more than £200 billion to the UK; per capita, second only to London and the south-east in tax contributions. LSE Emeritus Professor McCrone, in mid-2019, told a Commons Select Committee that “Scotland, on independence, was likely to see its GDP rise by 20% in real terms, based on current SNP spending plans”. Bloomberg are indicating to investors the pound sterling will quickly drop in value against an independent Scotland’s currency, once sterling loses its key oil and gas card, after Scotland breaks from sterling.

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Please, Tories, do not insult my intelligence claiming how much cash Westminster has given Scotland until it is something other than an accounting trick or a sleight of hand, as in Lord Forsyth’s one-trick pony – GERS, or against the actual cut in funding, to Scotland, in real terms, the current Tory Chancellor is proposing in his 2021 Budget.

I cannot, for the life of me, see how getting less than 40p back from every tax pound Scotland contributes to the UK Treasury is “Westminster subsidising Scotland”, or how Scotland is apportioned a higher percentage of UK debt than London and the south-east, given Scotland has no real borrowing powers.

Peter Thomson

Kirkcudbright

WITH reference to the couple named in your report as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn breaching travel restrictions last December (Royals ignored Scots Govt pleas to call off visit, January 12), I note that “a royal source” told The Herald that they travelled to Scotland “to carry out their work”. Perhaps we could see where in their job description this task is specified.

Once we know exactly what is in the job description we could then carry out a job matching exercise to ensure that these people are paid an appropriate wage for any work they do. Their job description should also indicate a disciplinary process by which these people can be held to account for acts of gross misconduct such as committing the offence outlined in your article and thereby placing members of the public at risk wherever they stopped on their tour.

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Ni Holmes

St Andrews

THE BBC’s website contains multiple references to Cressida Dick as the UK’s “most senior” police officer. I find this quite discourteous, as I was taught it was impolite to discuss the age of a lady in public. The only other possible interpretation of “most senior” would have the lady outranking and in a position to instruct Iain Livingstone, the Chief Constable of Scotland, for example. Surely that can’t have been the assumption or intention?

Of course it may simply be the case that the BBC web journalists involved have made a simple, collective typo which has resulted in “UK” appearing in place of “England”, an error which anyone who has ever used a keyboard would easily understand and excuse.

Ian Duff

Inverness

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