Salmon sector welcomes Brexit progress

Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Junker after agreeing the deal today

THE salmon sector in Scotland has welcomed news of a deal struck between London and Brussels over Brexit – although any agreement still has to be approved by Parliament.

Hamish Macdonell, director of Strategic Engagement for the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said: ‘We welcome the prospect of a deal as it lifts the threat of barriers to trade with the rest of the EU in the run up to Christmas, which is a very important period for the Scottish salmon sector.

‘Of course, the details will need to be studied carefully but for now we hope that a deal will represent business as usual.’

The EU president, Jean-Claude Junker, said earlier today that there was now no need to extend the Brexit deadline beyond October 31 after reaching a ‘fair’ outcome with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson urged MPs to ‘get this excellent deal over the line’ at Westminster when Parliament sits on Saturday. But with the Democratic Unionist Party, which the government relies on for key votes, refusing to back the PM, the deal\’s success hangs in the balance. It also still needs the approval of the European parliament.

Most of the detail is the same as that agreed by Theresa May last year (and voted down three times in the Commons), but the sticking point of the ‘backstop’ has been changed.

Northern Ireland will leave the EU customs union and instead remain a part of the UK\’s customs territory, so it will be included in any future trade deals struck by the government after Brexit.

But EU customs procedures would still apply on goods coming into Northern Ireland from Great Britain in order to avoid checks at the border.

The Northern Ireland Assembly, which due to an internal dispute has not sat for nearly three years, would have to approve the Brexit arrangements on an ongoing basis.

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