Fishing chiefs to meet Scottish Government over Brexit

Fishing leaders are looking toward a "sea of opportunities". Picture: GettyFishing leaders are looking toward a "sea of opportunities". Picture: Getty
Fishing leaders are looking toward a "sea of opportunities". Picture: Getty

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Scottish fishing leaders will hold meetings with key Government representatives this week to promote the opportunities they believe Brexit can deliver for Scotland's coastal communities.

The Scottish fishing industry believes that Brexit provides a “sea of opportunity” for Scotland and the UK to reinvigorate coastal and island communities and deliver a thriving and sustainable seafood industry.

It said that Brexit will enable the UK to regain control of its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, which in turn will lead to more effective management and fairer shares of catching opportunity.

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Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, will give evidence tomorrow to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee in Glasgow to outline how he believes Brexit, if handled properly, could provide the framework for injecting fresh dynamism into Britain’s fishing communities.

He said: “Brexit really is a sea of opportunity for our coastal and island communities. Scotland sits strategically on the northern continental shelf right in the middle of some of the richest fishing grounds in the world.

“Having control of these fishing grounds would generate significant and sustainable economic growth to these communities with spin-off benefits for local businesses and schools.

“But to achieve this, we need our politicians to be fully onside so that fishing is right at the heart of the Brexit process.

“We will be telling UK and Scottish Government ministers that it would be unforgivable if fishing was traded away during the negotiations.

“It is vital that both governments look at the positives and work as a team to deliver the best possible deal for our coastal communities.”

On Wednesday morning, Scottish fishing leaders will also underline the opportunities they believe Brexit offers at a specially convened meeting in Westminster with Andrea Leadsom MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and George Eustice MP, the UK Fisheries Minister.

Later that day, further talks will be held in Edinburgh with the Scottish Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing MSP, and Mike Russell MSP, the Scottish Government Minister with responsibility for Brexit.