Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has highlighted concerns about the impact of Brexit on the fish processing and aquaculture sector, following an evidence session of Holyrood’s Europe committee.
Responding to questioning from Ms Wishart, Jimmy Buchan, Chief Executive, Scottish Seafood Association told committee members “labour is a serious concern” for SSA members, with the UK immigration salary threshold affecting seafood companies’ competitiveness in the global market.
Commenting, Ms Wishart said:
“Shetland’s seafood industry is a vital part of our economy. For the industry to remain competitive and to grow it needs to be able to attract and retain skilled workers. Fish processing in Scotland relies heavily on EU workers so it is imperative government listens to the industry and does all it can to ensure people are able to come to Scotland to take up these roles.
“This is a very worrying time as we head towards the end of the transition period. Businesses are trying to make sense of how rule changes will affect them whilst managing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is an impossible situation for many small businesses. We cannot afford to crash out of the EU without a deal in place or to accept a rushed, bad deal.”