The SNP has called for immediate action from the Tory government to sort out the customs mess affecting Scottish fishing and seafood exports after industry representatives told the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee that it may not survive.
Deidre Brock MP (pictured) accused the Tories of being behind the wrecking ball that is smashing through Scottish fishing communities and demanded immediate action to sort out the crisis that threatens the industry’s future – including a grace period.
Deidre Brock MP, the SNP’s Shadow DEFRA spokesperson, said:
“It’s clear that the wrecking ball currently smashing through Scottish fishing communities and destroying businesses and jobs was made by the Tory government.
“When the Prime Minister and his Cabinet are smug about ‘taking back control’ they are ignoring the problems they’ve caused.
“Industry voices are clear that there was plenty of time for the UK government to get a workable system in place but that simply was not done and we’re seeing the damage caused by that now.
“At the evidence session, none of the industry figures saw a rosy future for the industry and there is a possibility that there is no future unless something changes.
“The DEFRA Secretary of State has already admitted that the deal ‘fell short’ for fishing communities and it’s time he went further and admitted that it’s a disaster.
“His one-word answer to me two weeks ago when I asked him to act was disgraceful, that “no” was not the message the fishing industry needed.
“It’s time Tory Ministers swallowed their pride, got back to the EU to get that grace period and started looking for an agreement on future arrangements that will allow Scotland to export its produce.
“No more excuses, no more blaming the fishing businesses for not getting the paperwork right, no more talk of teething problems, we need action and it’s needed now.
“The EU customers who have been buying Scottish fish and seafood for years are now going elsewhere and our industries are facing a bleak future.”