Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has joined calls for the UK government to provide compensation to the seafood industry after weeks of Brexit-related trade issues.
The seafood industry has been hit particularly hard by regulatory delays with seemingly no end in sight. In an interview with the BBC this week, Scotland Office Minister David Duguid was asked how long it will take to fix supply chain problems caused by Brexit. He responded “how long is a piece of string?”
In the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, the islands MSP highlighted issues with produce being left behind, vessels being told to stop fishing and exports having to set off up to a day early to cope with the delays.
Alasdair Allan commented:
“It is clear the seafood sector is approaching a state of crisis.
“The Tories have made lavish promises to fishermen over the last few years as well as promising “frictionless” trade with the EU. Not only have these not materialised, but the extra red tape and the gridlock at ports caused by Brexit is putting livelihoods in coastal communities at risk - especially as it comes in the middle of a pandemic where exporters have already been struggling.
“The total financial cost of all of this to coastal communities is yet to be known. However, as I pointed out in the Scottish Parliament earlier today, while fishermen have justified grievances with the Common Fisheries Policy with this Brexit red tape and gridlock the Tories have delivered a medicine worse than the disease.
“This crisis sits squarely with the UK Government. They must take responsibility for the financial disaster they have caused and compensate local businesses.”