Readers' letters: Fishing industry is a casualty of Brexit

“The fishing industry was made a pawn in negotiations and left in a vulnerable situation”

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:00 am
Boris Johnson aboard the Opportunis IV fishing trawler in Peterhead in September, 2019

Fishing industry is a casualty of Brexit

Have both the British and Scottish goverments totally abandoned the Scottish fishing industry and our coastal communities post Brexit?

The industry was again betrayed as apart of the negotiated settlement.

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For the second time the fishing industry was made a pawn in negotiations and has been left in an extremely vulnerable situation with our vessels still facing unruly behaviour from our European fishing neighbours.

Our fishing fleets are facing hard practical problems and a feeling of betrayal is felt strongly throughout the industry.

Many onshore jobs will be affected by this current situation and the knock on economic impact on our coastal communities should not be underestimated.

There seems to a feeling within the industry that politicians do not understand the real implications if the current situation persists.

Hopefully some politician will grasp the nettle.

DG McIntyre, Edinburgh.

The Misue of Drugs Act is a dismal failure

Nicola Sturgeon rightly argues for Westminster to change the drugs laws. The high drug death rate in Scotland is shameful but the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is a reserved matter and has been an abject failure.

The Act favours criminalisation, which deprives people of treatment and helps criminal drug gangs.

The SNP’s official policy favours decriminalisation and moving to a public health approach. In 2019 a report by the Scottish Affairs Select Committee Inquiry recommending a move away from criminalisation of possession and consumption, was rejected by Westminster and Scotland cannot amend the Act.

But decisions to prosecute offences under the l971 Act rest with Scotland’s Crown Office and Lord Advocate. The Lord Advocate can waive the right of prosecution of specified drugs like cannabis. If this was done it would enable consumption rooms and help to get to harm reduction and treatment. A public health evidence-based approach is needed with fully resourced community services, and urgent implementation of the draft guidelines on benzodiazepines.

Boris Johnson’s rogue Westminster government threatens funding of public services in Scotland through their privatisation and their sidelining of Holyrood. They ride over the devolution settlement and democracy.

For good governance Scotland needs to have the necessary economic levers and political powers only possible with independence.

By the way the free prescription scheme is cost effective and aids those on lower incomes.

Pol Yates, Edinburgh.

Highway Code is fine as it is – if we use it

I read last week that the Highway Code is to be revised to afford more protection to pedestrians and cyclists.

One revision was that a road user should stop at a junction, whether exiting or entering.

The former is generally followed today, as one stops before exiting to check oncoming traffic.

But imagine the chaos if cars or bikes (as if they would !) stopped on a busy road to let someone cross a side road.

A major step forward would actually be if all road and pavement users followed the existing Highway Code- assuming they know it exists.

And while I am here, I will continue to harp on about helmets being mandatory for cyclists.

Derek Sharp, Davidson Road, Edinburgh.