Minister hails ‘spirit of co-operation’ at first seafood task force meeting

Craig Paton, PA Scotland Political Reporter
·1-min read

Scotland Office minister David Duguid has hailed the “spirit of co-operation” on show at the inaugural meeting of a group set up to support the seafood industry.

The Scottish Seafood Exports Task Force was announced earlier this week, and its first meeting took place on Friday.

Both Scottish Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing and his Westminster counterpart George Eustice were in attendance, along with representatives from throughout the industry.

Following the meeting, Mr Duguid said: “The spirit of co-operation between all parties was good to see and my officials will now drill down to identify areas for rapid action.

David Duguid
The Scotland Office minister said the task force is not merely a ‘talking shop’ (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

“The next taskforce meeting is in a fortnight but our engagement with industry continues on a daily basis, as does our work to speed world-class Scottish seafood from port to plate as smoothly as possible.”

During the meeting, the group discussed the movement of mixed loads post-Brexit, with “constructive” talks held on practical solutions to ease the flow of goods across borders.

Ahead of the talks, Mr Ewing said the UK Government-led task force must not just be a “talking shop” and should provide practical solutions and support to the Scottish seafood industry.

During the discussions, Mr Duguid said: “This taskforce is about developing solutions and delivering action rapidly.

“It is not a talking shop and we will provide evidence of delivery.”