Moray SNP News
SECTOR SUPPORTS HUNDREDS OF JOBS IN BUCKIE
Moray’s MP Angus Robertson says the scale of European trade and investment shows that Brexit threatens the future of the vital seafood sector, which continues to be of significant importance in areas like Buckie.
Seafood accounts for over 60% of Scotland’s food exports to the EU – with EU membership benefiting the industry to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds in trade and investment.
With boats sailing from Buckie and a significant amount of seafood processing taking place in the town, supporting hundreds of local jobs the SNP’s Mr Robertson says answers from the Tory Government and others who campaigned for BREXIT on how the industry will be supported are still nowhere to be seen.
Figures revealed by the Scottish Government in response to a series of Parliamentary Questions show that Scotland exported £438m of fish and seafood to EU countries in 2015, while £77m of EU investment has created or safeguarded 2000 jobs in the industry since 2007.
Scotland should receive €107m from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, 46% of the UK allocation, by 2023 – investment that is jeopardised by Brexit.
Commenting Angus Robertson MP said:
“Fishing towns like Buckie support hundreds of jobs from catching fish through to processing, as well as all the support businesses that operate around harbours and food processors.
“Seafood is a prime example of the benefits of trading without barriers across Europe – and is by far our largest food export.
“Without tariff-free access to trade with the EU, rural Scotland would risk losing vital trade that sustains hundreds of jobs in Buckie and thousands across Scotland. In addition there is tens of millions of EU investment that supports our seafood and agricultural industries.
“Over two months on from the referendum the Tories and other BREXIT campaigners are no closer to answering any of the central questions about what BREXIT will look like – which is why it is absolutely right that the Scottish Government remains determined to stop Scotland being dragged out of Europe against our will.”
Scottish Parliament Questions
Emma Harper (South Scotland) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government what the value is of Scottish fish and seafood exports to the EU and what percentage this is of its total food exports to the EU.
Fergus Ewing: In 2015, Scotland exported £438 million of fish and seafood to the European Union. This accounted for 62% of the total value of its food exports to the European Union.
Emma Harper (South Scotland) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government how European funding supports the science, data and compliance costs for the sea fisheries sector.
Fergus Ewing: The newly reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) provides a set of rules for managing European fishing fleets and for conserving fish stocks. The implementation of the CFP is directly supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for the period 2014-2020. EU fisheries management relies on data collected, managed and supplied by EU Countries under the aligned Data Collection Framework Current Marine Scotland fisheries programme budgets supported by European funding are as follows:
Programme (2014-2020) Scotland Allocation*
Fisheries Innovation Scotland awards £330,000
Data Collection Framework £16,718,186
Compliance/control costs £15,927,666
European funding also supports international applied science projects that has Scotland as a partner or project co-ordinator. In the current year, Marine Scotland is a partner in 8 projects funded by the European Commission or Horizon 2020, with a total project value to Scotland of £0.600 million. Scottish Universities are involved in at least another 3 sea fisheries projects with a total value to Scotland of over £0.600 million.
*Subject to exchange rate fluctuation £/€
Emma Harper (South Scotland) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government how it has supported the development of the fishing, processing and aquaculture sectors through the previous European Fisheries Fund.
Fergus Ewing: The Scottish Government has supported the development of the fishing, processing and aquaculture sectors by delivering £77m grant assistance through the European Fisheries Fund, between 2007 and 2015. This has created/safeguarded up to 2000 jobs while delivering £180m total investment within these sectors.
Emma Harper (South Scotland) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government how much money Scotland receives from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
Fergus Ewing: The Scottish Government will receive up to 107 million euros from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. This will be converted to sterling, at the appropriate rate, at various points up to 2023. This represents 46% of the UK allocation.