Calum Kerr, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkrik and the SNP Spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has hailed a “clear resolve to work together” at a meeting between Scottish fishing leaders and MPs, at a pivotal moment for the Scottish fishing industry.
Speaking after the talks Mr Kerr said:
“I was glad to chair this meeting and to work with my colleagues Eilidh Whiteford and Paul Monaghan to bring key voices from the Scottish fishing industry to Westminster.”
“As we move into the unknown waters of Brexit, a close working dialogue with the industry is imperative in order to maximise the opportunities and manage the risks we now face.”
“This meeting signalled a clear resolve to work together in the best interests of one of Scotland’s most vital industries.”
Bertie Armstrong, CEO of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation welcomed the opportunity to establish a working dialogue with Scottish MPs around Brexit:
“We were given a great opportunity to explain the huge potential benefits that Brexit will bring to Scottish coastal communities in terms of jobs, economic activity and sustainable food production.”
“We had a discussion on the details and on the challenges, and sought the support of the MPs in realising this great potential. All agreed to continue and strengthen the contact. We look forward to building on the relationship – democracy in action!”
Mr Kerr was unequivocal about the need to offer a distinctive voice for the Scottish fishing industry as negotiations with the EU commence.
“When you consider that more fish were landed in Shetland alone in 2015 than in all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland put together, the need for acknowledgement of the different profile the industry has north of the border is crucial.”
“So it’s absolutely vital that there’s a strong Scottish voice in Westminster ready to ensure the UK Government does not view the Scottish fishing industry as expendable in the coming negotiations with the EU.“