Scottish nationalists demand billions in 'Brexit compensation' for Scotland

The pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) demanded on Sunday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson pay billions of pounds in compensation to Scotland for the mounting costs and disruption of Brexit.

Brexit has strained the bonds that tie together the United Kingdom: England and Wales voted to leave but London, Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to stay.

The SNP, which wants independence for Scotland and is pushing for a second referendum, said Scottish fishermen faced grave disruption due to Brexit.

Johnson's Conservatives "must apologise to Scottish businesses and pay compensation to Scotland for the long-term damage they are doing to our economy - costing us billions in lost trade and growth," said Ian Blackford, the SNP's leader in the British parliament.

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Pictures of the week: January 3 - 9
People walk through the snow-covered St Nicholas' Park, in Warwick. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
A woman runs with a dog through a snow covered scene near Buxton in Derbyshire. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Red deer in Richmond Park, London. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)
The London Eye on the bank of the River Thames is lit with blue lights to show support for the NHS in London, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Buildings across the country are being lit with blue lights to thank the work by NHS staff in caring for people during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A man with face covering walks past a shop window in London, as retail shops are closed because of the coronavirus Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
People outside the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, Thursday Jan. 7, 2021, join in applause during the nationwide Clap for Heroes event to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the latest lockdown. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)
Pigeons fight for food in an empty street in London, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A man with face covering walks past a shop window that advertises a store closing sale in Oxford Street, central London, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A couple stand on Westminster Bridge as the sun sets in London, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 06: An anti-lockdown protester is arrested by police officers in Parliament Square outside the House of Commons on January 6, 2021 in London, England. The UK Parliament has been recalled today to debate and vote on the new regulations needed to reimpose the England-wide lockdown that was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday night. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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Workers clear the contents out of the closed down Cafe de Paris nightclub in the West End od London, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The nightclub which opened in 1924 closed permanently in Dec. 2020 due to the pandemic. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
People walk through a quiet China Town in London, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A man wearing a replica armoured helmet for protection walks through the Grassmarket, Edinburgh, where stricter lockdown measures for mainland Scotland are now in force. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
A pedestrian walks past graffiti by the artist @akse_p19, depicting an NHS nurse in scrubs and a face mask, but with an Angel's halo above her head, in Manchester, north west England on January 5, 2021, as Britain enters a national lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19. - England's six-week lockdown, which began at midnight, emulates the first national coronavirus curbs in place from March to June -- but goes further than another instituted in November when schools remained open. Authorities in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have all taken similar measures, putting the UK as a whole in lockdown. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
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Busses parked up on Holles Street near Oxford Circus, London. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
People play ice hockey as the sun sets on a frozen pond in Queen's Park, Glasgow, Scotland, Sunday Jan. 3, 2021. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)
James Shaw, 82, is the first person in Scotland to receive the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, administered by advanced nurse practitioner Justine Williams, at the Lochee Health Centre in Dundee. The NHS is ramping up its vaccination programme with the newly approved jab, with 530,000 doses available for rollout across the UK.
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A snow plough drives along a road covered in snow, in Northumberland, England, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021.(Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)
A seagull looks out over moored fishing vessels in the harbour at Scarborough northeast England, on January 4, 2021. - Britain had insisted it wanted to take back control of its waters while EU coastal states sought guarantees that their fleets could keep fishing in UK waters. Instead, last week London and Brussels reached a compromise that will see European boats gradually relinquish 25 percent of their current quotas during a five-and-a-half-year transition period. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Whelk fishermen prepare their lines in the harbour at Scarborough northeast England, on January 4, 2021. - Britain had insisted it wanted to take back control of its waters while EU coastal states sought guarantees that their fleets could keep fishing in UK waters. Instead, last week London and Brussels reached a compromise that will see European boats gradually relinquish 25 percent of their current quotas during a five-and-a-half-year transition period. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Lorries prepare to embark on a ferry at the Port of Dover, southeast England, on January 4, 2021 following Britain's departure from the European Union. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 04: Members of the public walk through a deserted Edinburgh City Centre on January 4, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Scottish Parliament will be recalled this afternoon to consider further coronavirus measure in an attempt to tackle the rapid increase in cases. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Christmas trees wait to be collected at Victory Field in Sunninghill, near Ascot, Berkshire, as part of a recycling scheme provided by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
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Blackford cast Brexit as "an unnecessary act of economic vandalism, which has been inflicted against Scotland's will".

"The UK government must now provide an urgent multi-billion package of compensation to Scotland to mitigate the lasting Brexit harm done to Scottish businesses, industries and communities," he said.

Many Scottish fishermen have halted exports to European Union markets after post-Brexit bureaucracy shattered the system that used to put fresh langoustines and scallops in French shops just over a day after they were harvested.

Fishermen across Britain have accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of betrayal after he previously vowed to take back control of British waters. With little new control and little access to customer markets, many are in despair.

Scots voted 55-45 percent against independence in a 2014 referendum, but Brexit and the British government's handling of the COVID-19 crisis have bolstered support for secession, with most polls showing a majority now favour breaking away.

In the 2016 Brexit referendum, Scotland voted 62-38 to stay in the European Union while the United Kingdom as a whole voted 52-48 to leave.

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