A senior Westminster politician visited a north-east port to discuss the impact of Brexit on the fishing industry yesterday.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss, toured local seafood firms on a trip to Peterhead to hear from industry leaders firsthand.
She was accompanied by Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan, David Duguid, who later said the visit proved that issues affecting the north-east were being raised “at the highest levels of government”.
Mr Duguid said: “Clearly, access to labour is an important issue for seafood processors as we prepare to leave the EU.
“It’s something that I have been raising at every opportunity with the Home Office.
“Whilst the Treasury is not directly responsible for immigration, I think the UK Cabinet needs to understand the importance of ensuring the industry has access to the workforce it needs.
“It is also clear that the UK must strike an agreement with the EU that allows as frictionless trade as possible, particularly for products like shellfish that must reach their destination quickly.
“Today’s trip was the latest in a string of ministerial visits to Banff and Buchan which goes to show that issues affecting this area are being heard at the highest levels of government.”
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Ms Truss holds the second most senior ministerial role within HM Treasury after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and is MP for South West Norfolk.
She visited Seafood Ecosse in the Dales Industrial Estate and spoke with owner, David Leiper, and chairman of the Scottish Seafood Assiciation, Jimmy Buchan.
Mr Duguid said the group discussed topics including access to labour, financial support, Brexit outcomes and barrier-free trade with the EU.
He added that he was “delighted” to welcome Ms Truss to the Blue Toon and felt the discussions had been “positive”.