Brexit will deliver a sea of opportunity that will reinvigorate coastal and island communities and turn Scotland into a world class seafood harvesting nation, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), told guests at  tonight’s (2 November) Federation annual dinner in Edinburgh.

Speaking at the event, attended by Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing and a wide cross section of Scotland’s fishing industry, Mr Armstrong said Brexit, if handled in the right manner, would deliver tangible benefits to coastal communities.

“Our 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has some of the best and most productive fishing grounds in the world,” he said. “Regaining control of our EEZ will bring real benefit to coastal communities, not just in the catching sector but in processing and all through the supply chain in the form of increased economic activity.”

But he warned that to achieve the maximum benefit for our coastal communities, it is essential that both the Scottish and UK governments work closely together to ensure the best possible outcome.

“There will, of course, be challenges but we believe the balance is unmistakeably on the side of opportunity,” he said. “If the right deal is reached on Brexit, it will turn us into a world-class seafood harvesting and exporting country.”