Isles MP, Angus B MacNeil is in contact with The Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) regarding the exporting of fish to the European Union after the UK leaves the European Union.

Figures contained in the Local Level Brexit Vulnerabilities report shows that rural and remote areas in Scotland could be among the hardest hit by any kind of Brexit. 

Mr MacNeil who has continually opposed Brexit said:

“I have been in discussions with Seafish about ensuring that the fishing industry can continue to get their catch to EU markets, unhindered in the event of a No-Deal Brexit. 

“Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 sets out the conditions for the approval of establishments.  Currently, to export to the EU these businesses do not require an Environmental Health Certificate but after exiting the European Union these businesses would require an Environmental Health Certificate which they would not be able to get because they do not have an approved establishment.

“These changes will not apply during the transition period or if we remain in the single market and customs union.

“Seafish is currently looking for a solution to the problem and they are seeking advice on the viability of other possible solutions which include products passing through suitably approved premises such as a fish market or that the business can undertake an approved activity such as wrapping and packing in polystyrene boxes in order to obtain the required approval. 

“It is likely that local fishermen will be selling their catch to an agent who will subsequently export the catch.  Seafish have concerns that to obtain an Environmental Health Certificate, the agent may need evidence of compliance with European Food Law from vessels to export into the European Union. 

“Seafish have flagged up a difficulty and it clearly shows that despite Brexit, EU Regulations are very much to the fore. 

“It is important that we can still sell our products to the European Union despite not presently knowing what will happen if we leave the EU without a deal and solutions need to be found. Leaving the EU was meant to reduce bureaucracy, but this is just one example where exporting to the European Union will require more bureaucracy if we leave the EU.”