Salmon sector plea sent to PM hopefuls

A plea is being made to Tory leader candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak for support for the salmon sector.

Salmon Scotland’s chief executive has written a letter to the two candidates vying for a place in Number 10.

Tavish Scott has cited many key workers returning to Eastern Europe post-Brexit.

It comes amid concern in the industry that changes to the Northern Ireland protocol could lead to retaliatory action by the EU, which could cause increased friction at the borders.

Mr Scott said: “Our businesses are vital to the economic performance of the UK – not only in economically fragile coastal and rural areas, but across the length and breadth of the country in processing, engineering, science and technology industries.”

Salmon Scotland is calling on the next Prime Minister to embrace what it calls a “more enlightened approach to the movement of labour into the UK”.

That, its says, should include a change to key worker definitions, as well as changes to the salary cap level.

A broader public signal that the UK is open to people coming here to work is also being called for.

The trade body wants a “serious, pragmatic approach” to negotiations with the EU, avoiding a so-called “trade war”, with a “clear focus on the nation’s export businesses who depend on a positive, professional relationship with France and the other countries of the EU”.

Scottish salmon exports recovered to near-record figures in 2021, increasing to £614million – up 36 per cent compared to 2020, and only marginally below the £618 million recorded in 2019.

Exports were shipped to 52 different markets last year, with growth across 10 of the top 20 markets.

The EU accounted for 61 per cent of the volume of global Scottish salmon exports, worth some £372 million.

But the trade body has already gone on record to say exports in the first half of this year were down eight per cent.

The sector directly employs 2,500 people in Scotland and supports more than 3,600 suppliers, with a further 10,000 jobs dependent on farm-raised salmon.


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