Support for region’s fishing and marine businesses welcomed
South Scotland list MSP Emma Harper, has welcomed new Scottish Government funding for fishing businesses and marine organisations which will help mitigate the impacts of Brexit and Covid-19.
Financial support of almost £800,000 – part of the £14m Marine Fund Scotland has been announced.
Pre-Brexit, Ms Harper met with several of the region’s local businesses helping lobby the Scottish Government on their behalf, by highlighting the grave dangers and hugely negative impact Brexit would have upon Scotland’s fishing fleets.
This included meeting local businesses and people with responsibility for operations out of Kirkcudbright, Port William, Isle of Whithorn and Kirkcudbright Harbour.
Ms Harper said: “Our producers, farmers and fishermen showed tremendous spirit as they navigated the pandemic and now face the stark realities of a new operating landscape brought about by a reckless Brexit deal.
"Our calls of concern which were made to the UK Government remained un-heeded, and now our local businesses are facing daily challenges such as shortages of HGV drivers, workers in processing and manufacturing, as well as associated skills shortages right across the industry.
“Labour and skills shortages like these lay bare the extraordinary recklessness of this hard Brexit.
"We certainly shouldn’t forget that as businesses faced Brexit border disruptions and barriers to trade – which cost UK food exporters £700m in January alone - the UK Government dismissed industry concerns as 'teething troubles'.”