MSP sends Cullen skink pie to David Davis in fishing industry warning

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An MSP has posted the UK Brexit Secretary a fishy Christmas gift to warn of the risks of the leaving the EU.

Stewart Stevenson has sent David Davis a Cullen skink pie to prompt him to take action to protect Scotland’s fishing industry from Brexit.

The Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP, who represents Europe’s biggest fishing port at Peterhead, said: “I wish the Brexit Secretary a restful and happy Christmas break.

“One which will allow him to recharge his batteries, perhaps do some thinking, and return to work with a clear plan for exactly how he’s going to protect Scotland’s seafood sector.”

He added: “I represent an industry which depends heavily on free access to the Single Market – with no tariffs, no barriers and relatively easy transit from the North East of Scotland to dining tables all across Europe.

“We don’t want to see Tory ineptitude result in no trade deal, or to see needless hurdles erected which make it harder to do business across Europe.

“Nor do we want to see lorry-loads of fresh, high-quality Scottish seafood waiting by the lorryload in queues at Dover for lengthy customs checks.

“It could compromise the freshness of the product – as David Davis might learn to his peril if he doesn’t pick up his Christmas gift from me in time.”

Mr Stevenson said nearly 80% of the seafood landed and processed in Scotland is currently exported to the EU making it the third largest export sector, valued at over £633 million in 2016.

A UK Government spokesman said: “We recognise the importance of fishing industry, which is why we’re pursuing the best deal for our fishing communities when we leave the EU.

“As part of this, we are committed to securing the freest possible trade in goods between the UK and the EU to help maintain a sustainable and profitable industry.”