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23 December 2017

"Merry Fishmas" from Stewart Stevenson

MSP Sends Fishy Present to Davis to Highlight Brexit Risks

The MSP representing Europe’s biggest fishing port (Peterhead) and biggest shellfish port (Fraserbugh) is calling on Brexit Secretary David Davis to provide urgent guarantees over continuing access to the European Single Market.

Stewart Stevenson has highlighted that nearly 80% of the seafood landed and processed in Scotland is currently exported to the EU, with tariff free, unimpeded access to consumers across the continent. It is the third largest export sector, valued at over £633 million last year.
The Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP has posted David Davis a Christmas present of a Cullen Skink pie from award-winning fishmonger Downies of Whitehills – containing locally-landed fish which is exported across Europe, and likely to be acutely impacted by a hard Tory Brexit.

Failure by the Tory government to reach a deal which guarantees Scotland’s continuing membership or access to the single market could mean seafood hauliers facing lengthy delays – perhaps for days on end – in lorry parks in Dover and other ports along the south coast of England. Industry chiefs fear that this could compromise the international reputation for fresh, high quality Scottish seafood.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“I wish the Brexit Secretary a restful and happy Christmas break. One which will allow him to recharge his batteries, perhaps do some thinking, and return to work with a clear plan for exactly how he’s going to protect Scotland’s seafood sector.

“I represent an industry which depends heavily on free access to the Single Market – with no tariffs, no barriers and relatively easy transit from the North East of Scotland to dining tables all across Europe.

“We don’t want to see Tory ineptitude result in no trade deal, or to see needless hurdles erected which make it harder to do business across Europe.

“Nor do we want to see lorry-loads of fresh, high-quality Scottish seafood waiting by the lorryload in queues at Dover for lengthy customs checks. It could compromise the freshness of the product – as David Davis might learn to his peril if he doesn’t pick up his Christmas gift from me in time.

“The best way to guarantee that Scotland’s reputations for quality seafood isn’t squandered by the Tories it to maintain our place in the Single Market.”
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