Managing Scotland’s Fisheries

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 14th January 2021.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

Yes, I do. It gives me absolutely no pleasure to say so, but we warned the UK Government about the risk of the new bureaucratic system, including the estimated 150,000 new certificates that would be required in combination with other necessary documentation—which is all entirely new and is all only necessary because of Brexit.

I could not put the issue better than James Withers of Scotland Food & Drink, who described businesses as

“being strangled by the very red tape that we were promised we were escaping.”

That, sadly, is where we are at the moment. The short-term priority is to sort out those problems PDQ. If we do not, as we have heard from numerous businesses already—let us not forget the shellfish businesses and aquaculture businesses, as well as the caught sector—they will find that they cannot sell their produce and are losing money hand over fist. They urgently require these problems to be sorted out, and they are also entitled to compensation from the UK Government.