First Minister to address fishing industry summit on Brexit

16 August 2018, 06:17

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon will address a summit on the Brexit impact on Scotland's fishing and seafood sector.

The roundtable discussion in Edinburgh will include representatives from the fishing, processing and acquaculture industry as well as environmentalists, port authorities and people from the food and drink sector.

Concerns about how Brexit will affect seafood exports will be on the agenda, as well as mitigation measures, and the future of fisheries management in Scotland.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing, who is also attending, said in advance of the summit: "The Scottish seafood sector has gone from strength to strength in recent years and is an important part of our economy - but the UK Government's lack of clarity on how the industry will be affected by Brexit is putting the livelihoods of workers and communities at risk.

"With seafood exports to the EU worth £725 million last year, the industry needs an assurance that it can continue to easily access EU markets."

He said the Brexit negotiations needs to address fears over increased trade barriers, customs delays, EU labour and funding, stressing the Scottish Government position that continuing membership of the customs union and single market would be the "least damaging" Brexit.

Mr Ewing added: "However, in the absence of any realistic UK Government position, this summit is an opportunity to hear the seafood sector's concerns so we can push for more clarity - this will also help us shape our national discussions around the future of fisheries management in Scotland."