Tory Fisheries Minister did not read Brexit deal which costs Scottish fleet £1 million a day in losses – Daily Record

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The UK Fisheries Minister was too busy with Christmas to focus on reading the Brexit fishing deal with the EU.

Fishing minister Victoria Prentis, the under-secretary of State for Farming and Fishing, admitted she did not read the fisheries deal when it was published on Christmas Eve because she was “very busy organising the local Nativity trail”.

Giving evidence to a Lords committee, the minister admitted “things are tricky at the moment” on exports but said her team is “working hard” to resolve issues as they arose.

She added: “I think the deal is a good one for the UK, in fisheries terms, it’s true to say that we had, as an industry, dreamed some pretty big dreams and in some cases it’s true to say that we didn’t get everything we asked for.”

The Tory MP also caused concern after suggesting one solution to border delays was for Brits to eat more fish.

She said: “We export 70 per cent of what we catch in this country to the EU and we’re ambitious to carry on at that level but we will, I’m sure, also in the future want to eat more of what we catch here.”

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Scottish Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael said: “It is clear that the fisheries minister was not brought into discussions on the deal until after the event.”

The Orkney and Shetland MP added: “Surely she could have taken a little time away from the festivities to look after her own departmental responsibilities?”

Scottish politics

Carmichael has secured an urgent question in the Commons on Thursday amid reports the sector is losing £1 million a day in landings with fish prices plummeted by 80 per cent at Peterhead Fish Market and while a third of Scotland’s fishing fleet tied up in the harbour.

The move came as Boris Johnson told the Commons Liaison committee there would be “compensation” for the Scottish fishing industry for what he described as temporary delays to exports.

Carmichael said: “After a week of intensifying disruption for seafood exporters and with long-term challenging from the deal as well I would urge businesses affected by the trading changes to contact me so that we can put the strongest possible case to the Minister.”

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