Scottish Secretary David Mundell and the twelve other Conservative MPs in Scotland have warned Theresa May she must not sign away the UK’s fishing rights as part of her Brexit deal.
In a letter to the prime minister, the MPs said the government must stick to its promise that the UK will leave the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and negotiate as an independent costal state from December 2020.
“You said in your conference speech that anything less would be a ‘betrayal of Scotland’ and we completely agree,” the letter seen by the BBC said.
“This has raised expectations in the fishing industry that Brexit will lead to complete control and full sovereignty over domestic waters that we must deliver on.
“We could not support an agreement with the EU that would prevent the UK from independently negotiating access and quota shares.”
The letter was released as Mundell joined other ministers round the Cabinet table to sign off on May’s deal before it is made public.
Tensions over the Brexit deal were heightened by reports that a senior Brussels negotiator has said the deal will mean the UK aligns its rules with the EU while Brussels “will retain all the controls”.
May insisted the deal reached by UK and EU negotiators “takes us significantly closer to delivering on what the British people voted for in the referendum”.
Brexiteer ministers International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey are seen as the mostly likely to to quit in protest.
The prime minister is expected to make a statement in the Commons tomorrow morning.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed an EU summit had now been pencilled in for 25 November to rubber stamp the agreement.
Even if May does convince her Cabinet to support the deal, her chances of winning a Commons vote currently appear slim.
Jeremy Corbyn is expected to order Labour MPs to vote against it. Speaking during PMQs on Wednesday, he blasted the deal as the “worst of all worlds” that was a “failure in its own terms”.
The DUP, which props up May’s minority government, also said it would vote against the deal.
The Tory Brexiteer European Research Group (ERG) of MPs has claimed an “irreducible core” of 40 members are also certain to vote against the PM.