Commenting on the Brexit plan set out in the Government’s White Paper today (2 February), Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said:

“The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation welcomes the Prime Minister’ s stated approach to the Brexit negotiations as one of anticipating success.  Delivery of the White Paper vision of a world leading food industry is an ambition fully shared by the fishing sector.

“The goal is clear – to grasp the enormous opportunity that Brexit presents.   The figures quoted in the White Paper illuminate the potential with EU vessels catching 683,000 tonnes (£484 million revenue) of fish in UK waters compared with UK vessels catching 111,000 tonnes (£114 million revenue) in EU waters.

“This is a world-class natural resource, for which full rights and responsibilities will transfer to the UK at the point of Brexit.  It is a precious national asset that will last into perpetuity and which must not be traded away in the forthcoming negotiations.

“For fishing communities the length and breadth of the UK, Brexit is a golden opportunity – indeed a sea of opportunities – which we must not squander.”