Scotland's seafood sector representatives had a constructive meeting with Michael Gove, pictured, but wan't more no-deal Brexit safeguards. Photo: ITV.

Work harder to protect exports, SSPO urges Gove

The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation has warned that more work must be done to protect seafood exports in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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SSPO strategic engagement director Hamish Macdonell issued the alert after Scottish seafood sector representatives met with UK Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove today.

Issues discussed included certification, potential transport hold-ups and compensation for extra tariff barriers placed on UK exports to the EU.

‘Enviable reputation’

“Scottish seafood rightly enjoys an enviable reputation for quality and availability in European markets,” said Macdonell.

“As representatives of all seafood sectors, farmed and caught, we made it clear to the UK government that we are determined to ensure this continues, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

“We held a constructive meeting with Mr Gove and his senior officials and while we appreciate the preparatory work that has been already been undertaken, we believe more has to be done to protect seafood exports to the continent if no Brexit deal is agreed.”

‘Swift access’

Jimmy Buchan, Scottish Seafood Association business manager and star of BBC series Trawlermen, said: “Seafood is perishable, so it is imperative that no extra barriers are placed in the way of its access to market.

“We are now hopeful Mr Gove will work with his colleagues across the UK government to make sure access remains as swift and as easy in the future as it is now.”

Scotland’s seafood sector was represented by Macdonell, Buchan, Billy McKenzie of the Fishing Vessel Owners’ and Agents’ Association, and David Duguid, Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan.