'I'm tough with EU' Liz Truss vows to use Brexit 'muscle' to take 'full control of waters'

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The Tory leadership frontrunner made the pledge during the latest hustings event in Perth on Tuesday. Ms Truss drew applause from the crowd as she promised to “back our fishermen” after fishing proved to be a major sticking point in Brexit negotiations.

The Foreign Secretary insisted she will flex the UK’s muscles to get the “best possible deal” on fishing rights in 2026 when the adjustment period ends and annual talks take place to set the amount EU boats can catch in British waters.

Speaking at the hustings in Scotland, Ms Truss said: “I will back our farmers and I will back our fishermen.

“We produce some fantastic produce, particularly here in Scotland, whether it’s Scottish lamb and beef or our fantastic seafood industry.

“I will make sure in 2026 when we have full control of our waters that we are using our muscle to get the best possible deal for our fishermen.

“And you know that I’m tough when I negotiate with Europe.”

Ms Truss, who is vying against Rishi Sunak to replace Boris Johnson, also vowed to unleash other Brexit opportunities if she wins the Tory leadership race.

She said: “I have a plan for growth for the UK. First of all that’s about unlocking the opportunities of Brexit.

“And I will deliver freeports here in Scotland.

“I will make sure that we get rid of the EU laws off our statute books by the end of 2023 so that we can do things differently.

“And I will get the next generation of trade deals that deliver even more for fantastic industries across Scotland like the salmon industry, like the whiskey industry, like our fantastic farmers.”

Elsewhere during the hustings event, Ms Truss insisted she would not let the “family” of nations in the UK be split up as she addressed Nicola Sturgeon’s push for Scottish independence.

The Foreign Secretary said: “I consider myself a child of the union and to me we’re not just neighbours, we’re family.

“I will never ever let our family be split up.

“I will make sure that, now and forever, our fantastic union goes from strength to strength to strength.”

Meanwhile, her rival Mr Sunak said he could not “imagine the circumstances” in which he would allow a second Scottish independence referendum.

Pressed whether he would rule out the referendum or allow it, the former chancellor said: “I can’t imagine the circumstances in which I would.

“We live in a union which is of course there by consent and by democracy and I accept that, but I just don’t think that anybody thinks that now or any time in the near future is remotely the time to focus on this.”



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