Scottish fishers to highlight Brexit opportunities

Scottish fishing leaders are taking part in a number of high-level meetings this coming week.

Scottish fishing leaders are taking part in a number of high-level meetings this coming week.

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Scottish fishing leaders are taking their campaign to promote the opportunities that Brexit can deliver for Scotland’s coastal communities to the highest level with a series of meetings this coming week with key government representatives.

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.

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.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation will give evidence tomorrow (October 24) to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee in Glasgow to outline how Brexit, if handled properly, will provide the framework for injecting fresh dynamism into Britain’s fishing communities.

On Wednesday morning (October 26), Scottish fishing leaders will also underline the opportunities of Brexit 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.

Bertie Armstrong 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.”