MP talks Brexit with local fishermen

Berwickshire fishermen made it clear what they want from Brexit when they met local MP John Lamontlast week.
Berwickshire fishermen made it clear what they want from Brexit when they met local MP John Lamontlast week.

The number one Brexit priority for Berwickshire fishermen is for the UK to gain control over its own waters.

Local fishermen made their views clear when they met Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont in Eyemouth this week.

Organised by South of Scotland Seafish training manager, David Gilchrist, the meeting was attended by around 30 fishermen from the Berwickshire coast and beyond.

Afterwards David Gilchrist said: “It was good of John to come along and give local fishermen the opportunity to speak directly to him. Whilst economically the fishing industry is small compared to some other sectors, what should never be ignored is that to those living in places like Eyemouth, Burnmouth and Dunbar fishing is their heritage, history and culture.

“The fishing industry is the backbone of many of these coastal communities. Together they have a voice that must not be ignored.”

Tom Johnston, skipper of Crystal Stream (Eyemouth), added: “The meeting was a useful one. I was glad to get the opportunity to voice my concerns to someone who was prepared to listen.”

The meeting was organised after Mr Lamont criticised the UK Government for agreeing to remain part of the Common Fisheries Policy until the end of 2020, as part of a transition deal with the EU.

Mr Lamont said: “There were a lot of different ideas put forward at the meeting. Some fishermen wanted better access to non-EU markets, others thought the challenges with finding workers needed to be addressed. I was also surprised to learn that foreign boats are not subject to the same rules as domestic boats, something which needs to change.

“What was certain from the meeting was that control over our own waters was a priority for everyone. Local fishermen provided me with a very clear view as to what they want out of the final Brexit deal.

“I repeated the point that I will not support any final Brexit deal which does not meet the aspirations of our fishing industry.”