The UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has called on the Scottish Government to make U-turn on their plans for highly protected marine areas (HPMAs).
The Prime Minister was asked to intervene in the HPMA fiasco by Scottish MP, Jamie Stone of the Liberal Democrats.
During engagements debate on Wednesday 10 May last in the House of Commons, Mr Stone asked the Prime Minister:
“The Prime Minister may well have seen the astonishing sight of a former Scottish Government Minister standing up in the Scottish Parliament Chamber and tearing up—literally, ripping into pieces—the Scottish Government’s highly protected marine area proposal. The proposal is deeply controversial all over Scotland, and has even been compared with the second highland clearances. Is now not the time for the UK Government to step in and work with the devolved. Mr Speaker, I will not be silenced, because this matters deeply to my constituents. Is it not time for the UK Government to step in and work with the devolved Administrations, to come up with a conservation scheme that works and is acceptable to our fishing communities all around the UK?”
Replying the Prime Minister said:
“The hon. Gentleman makes an excellent point and is a passionate champion, as he should be, for his local fishing communities. He is right to highlight the concerns that have been raised not just by them but by members of the SNP about the potentially damaging impact of plans to introduce the highly protected marine areas in the way that they are. I would encourage the SNP Government to continue working with the Scottish fishing industry and coastal communities to understand their concerns. As we have seen them recently U-turn on other poorly thought-out decisions, hopefully they can re-look at this one, too.”