A BBC Scotland reporter has claimed access to UK waters for EU fishing vessels is not part of the deal agreed between the EU and Theresa May, despite official documents stating otherwise.
Glenn Campbell told listeners to Good Morning Scotland that Scottish Conservative MPs had been “celebrating” the fact that fishing access was not part of any agreement.
The reporter said Ruth Davidson’s MPs had been: “… celebrating the fact the withdrawal agreement … does not commit the UK to continuing to allow the access EU countries currently have to our waters in exchange for access to EU markets.”
Campbell’s claim flies in the face of text from the actual document that makes clear access to UK waters is a key part of the agreement. The agreement, published last Thursday, revealed Theresa May had agreed a deal with the EU that will see fishing access and quotas remain part of any Brexit deal beyond the two year transition period.
According to the document, a new fisheries agreement on access to waters and quota shares must be in place and ready for implementation immediately after the transition period which ends in 2020.
In the final agreement adopted by the EU27, it makes clear fishing access and quotas will remain tied to negotiations on any future deal after the two year transition period ends.
The text prompted the following tweet from Minister Nicola Nicola Sturgeon: “I’ll be interested to hear David Mundell explain how this – ‘existing reciprocal access and quota shares’ – can be squared with the promises made to the Scottish fishing industry. (Hint – it can’t).”
The claim from Glenn Campbell, that Scottish Conservative MPs were “celebrating” the fact that fishing access had been excluded, was ridiculed on social media.
One user tweeted: “That’s not correct and G Campbell should (does?) know it. While statement on access and quotas isn’t legally binding (none of future trading partnership document is) it’s absolutely clear that EU27 will insist on access. I wonder who’s got stronger hand to play – EH27 or UK”
Another questioned the impartiality of the reporter, saying: “Yeah, but that’s Glenn Campbell, British Nationalist poster boy …”
The claim from the BBC Scotland reporter comes days after the station refused to reveal the actual text on the agreement in a series of news bulletins and reports. BBC Scotland is widely seen as a pro-Union broadcast outlet. A claim the station’s management denies.