HANDS up who didn’t see it coming? A leaked draft of the deal Theresa May hopes to strike with the EU after the UK leaves appears to show that, yet again, a Conservative government has sold out the Scottish fishing industry in order to save its Brexit skin. The Scottish Secretary, David Mundell (pictured below with Ruth Davdison), who has not resigned yet, had assured one and all that securing the interests of the Scottish fishing industry was a red line for him and leaderene Ruth Davidson and the rest of Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives™, but it now transpires that the red line wasn’t that red after all. At best it’s a very pale pink. Possibly mauve. But invisible under normal lighting conditions.

The National: INM CELEBRATORY MOOD: Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson greets Scotland Secretary David Mundell at a photo call with the party's newly-elected Scottish Members of Parliament in Stirling on Saturday. Picture: Lesley Martin/PA Wire.

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Protecting the fishing industry was the only advantage from Brexit that the Scottish Conservatives were offering to the people of Scotland. Well, at least protecting the interests of the big fishing boats on the east coast. According to research from Greenpeace, 45% of Scotland’s fish quota is controlled wholly or in part by just five extremely wealthy families. Protecting interests of the small shellfishing boats on the west coast who export most of their catch to Europe and rely on frictionless trade, is not so much of an interest to the Tories.

The Scottish Conservatives claimed to be standing up for the maritime equivalent of the big Highland lairds and no-one else. They were always perfectly happy to sell out every other industry and interest group in Scotland, because apparently the Scottish Conservatives are deeply religious and cod fearing.

The letter the their MPs sent Theresa May earlier this month said specifically that “access [to fishing waters] and quota shares cannot be included in the Future Economic Partnership”. The political declaration now agreed by the UK Government shows they have been. Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives™ had one job, but they couldn’t even manage to do that.

READ MORE: Theresa May to 'sell out' Scotland's fishermen to save Brexit deal

There’s that strong voice for Scotland within the UK that they promised you, Scotland. It’s a high-pitched squeak that’s at a frequency which normal human ears cannot detect, and it’s a David Mundell who’s not resigned yet even though the UK Government has ignored his red, no pale pink, no mauve, line. Although, to be fair, expecting a man bereft of political principles to resign on a point of political principle was always going to be a big ask.

Fellow Scots Tory MP Ross Thomson (pictured below) is really unhappy. Ross believes he can best represent the interests of his Remain-voting constituency – situated as it is in a Remain-voting country – by pressing for the kind of Brexit that could only be achieved by towing Britain somewhere into the mid-Atlantic and becoming the 51st state of the USA. Ross is furious.

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However, being the subject of Ross Thomson’s anger is rather like being savaged by a toothless Chihuahua with an incontinence problem, so it’s not like it’s going to make any difference. In that respect he’s the typical Tory, making no difference and having no effect. The reality is that the bulk of the British fishing catch is sold to Europe, and it’s vital for the fishing industry to have preferential access to European markets.

READ MORE: Tory MP admits his government just sold out Scotland’s fishermen

Some 75% of the UK fishing catch is exported, the overwhelming majority of it to EU countries. That export trade relies upon fast and friction-free trade. The fact is that the UK doesn’t eat anything like enough of the fish it catches to support its own fishing industry, one of the biggest in Europe.

UK boats catch species of fish that people in the UK don’t eat, and in return the UK imports large numbers of the fish that people in the UK do eat, mostly cod and haddock. Scottish boats could catch a lot more cod and haddock in Scottish waters, but only at the expense of destroying the precarious and precious fish stocks.

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Ruth Davidson, who is currently on maternity leave

The large companies which control almost half the fishing quotas have shown in the past that they are mainly interested in short-term profit and have no great regard for the long-term future of the fishing stocks. You know that phrase. “there are plenty more fish in the sea?”. Well, there aren’t. The eventual outcome would be the decimation of Scottish stocks of cod and haddock, and an abundance of fish species that people in Scotland and the rest of the UK don’t eat and which can no longer be exported.

READ MORE: EU member countries concerned over fishermen’s access to UK waters

The price of continuing access to European markets was always going to be access for EU vessels to UK waters. That was always going to be the deal, and it was foolish and mendacious of the Conservatives to pretend to fishing communities that they could have their fish cakes and eat them.

The Scottish Tories have now proven that they are utterly incapable of protecting Scottish interests within the UK. Their failure demonstrates that not even the strongest proponents of the so-called Union can extract any gains for Scotland within that Union.

Whenever there is a conflict of interest between what is good for Scotland, and what is good for the rest of the UK, Scotland always loses.

The Scottish Conservatives have all by themselves demonstrated that the UK doesn’t work for Scotland. All they received is a slap on the face with a wet fish.