Salmon farmers’ spokesman welcomes potential UK/EU ‘thaw’
Agreement over Northern Ireland may lead to easing of tensions, says Scott
A deal between the UK government and the European Union over post-Brexit trade arrangements for Northern Ireland has been welcomed by Tavish Scott, chief executive of salmon farming trade body Salmon Scotland.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, ahead of signing a new agreement which the BBC reports has now taken place.
Scottish salmon was the UK’s most valuable food export in 2022, and Europe is the salmon farming sector’s most important market, accounting for 64% of the £578 million of export sales last year.
Scott said: “A thawing of the relationship between London and Brussels is welcome news for all exporters.
“Since Brexit, the export arrangements for our members have been challenging with extra red tape, delays at the Channel, and continued labour shortages.
“We have managed to get through that, but an improved relationship will hopefully lead to an easing of the tensions and generate further sustainable growth of Scotland’s most successful food sector.”
Northern Ireland has been treated differently to the rest of the UK after Brexit because of the need to keep an open border with EU member the Republic of Ireland, with no checks on goods being carried between the countries. That means that the EU has demanded checks on goods being sent from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland, and remains subject to some EU laws.
It is understood that the deal that was being discussed between Sunak and Von der Leyen will allow goods that are destined for Northern Ireland to be sent unchecked, while goods going to the Republic of Ireland will be subject to import checks in the same way as they would if they were going to any other part of the EU.