Government urged to clarify post-Brexit support for Scottish fishing industry


Scotland's Rural Economy Secretary has accused the UK Government of being "disrespectful" to fishermen over post-Brexit funding.

Fergus Ewing called on his UK counterpart Michael Gove to clarify the support available for the fish and seafood sector once the UK leaves the European Union.

Scotland currently receives 46% of the UK's share of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and £81 million has been allocated to help Scottish businesses over the 2014-2020 funding period, with a further £53 million from the Scottish Government.

He said: "The UK Government's failure to acknowledge our concerns around future funding for coastal communities is disrespectful to the fishermen and businesses that rely on this investment.

Fergus Ewing
Fergus Ewing

"The prospect of Brexit places this support in jeopardy and we need the UK Government to urgently confirm firstly, that investment in the marine sector will continue at levels which properly reflect the significance of the sector in the rural economy, and secondly, that Scotland will receive its fair share of future funding as well as the power to determine how best to invest it.

"Over the last year we have seen record values of salmon exports and fish landings, and we want to do all we can to ensure this success story continues."

Michael Gove
Michael Gove

A Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs spokesman said: "Scotland receives the largest share of the European Maritime Fisheries Fund - reflecting both the size and the value of Scotland's world-leading seafood industry.

"As we leave the EU we have the opportunity to consider the future of local growth and productivity funding, and we will work closely with Scotland and the other devolved administrations to develop a future fishing policy that works for the whole of the UK."