The latest national statistics show that, in 2017, 56 per cent of the weight and 46 per cent of the value of all fish landed into Scotland were landed into the north-east, covering the three port districts of Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen.
I thank the cabinet secretary for acknowledging the importance of the north-east to Scotland’s fishing industry. With that in mind, can he tell me why Aberdeenshire, which is the site of the biggest fishing port, Peterhead, and the third biggest, Fraserburgh, had 100 of 146 applications for European maritime and fisheries funding rejected and received only 13.7 per cent of the available EMFF funding?
I can assure the member that the ports in the north-east have benefited considerably and are due to benefit further from EMFF funding. I am happy to share the information with Mr Chapman, as he seems to be unaware of it.
I also point out ever so gently to Mr Chapman and his colleagues that the European maritime and fisheries fund is part of European Union funding.
Despite having asked his colleagues Mr Gove and Mr Eustice, with whom I have a good working relationship, on numerous occasions, face to face and eyeball to eyeball, “Will you replace this fund post-Brexit?”, answer has there come absolutely none. Without wishing to be unkind, that leads me to conclude that the United Kingdom Government’s handling of Brexit can best be described by a Gaelic word—a bùrach.