Sector welcomes new government’s commitment to growing Scottish salmon exports

Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds on Sky News, 9 July

Trade body Salmon Scotland has welcomed indications from incoming Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds that the newly elected Labour Government will be seeking better trade relations with the European Union.

Speaking on Sky News yesterday, Reynolds was responding to a comment by Ireland’s Prime Minister Simon Harris, who said: “There would be a fair hearing for any proposal that the British government or indeed the EU has about ironing out practical issues”.

The Business Secretary said: “We’ve got the same standards as the European Union. If we can sell more whisky, more salmon, to a market which is so significant to us, of course we should explore an opportunity like that… moving forward to… a relationship to Europe that is not determined by the internal politics of the Conservative Party is very much in the national interest in the UK.”

In its election manifesto, Salmon Scotland called for a “serious, pragmatic approach to the UK’s relationship with the EU, with a clear focus on the nation’s export businesses which depend on a positive, professional relationship with France and the other countries of the EU”.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “As the UK’s largest food export, there is huge potential to grow Scotland’s economy by resetting the relationship with the EU and focusing on exports of world-renowned produce like Scottish salmon.

“I’m absolutely delighted that Jonathan Reynolds has immediately recognised how important this is, sending a clear signal that the new government is committed to our sector and the growth of Scottish salmon.

“We look forward to working with the new government to promote Scotland on the global stage.”

Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party was elected in a landslide victory at the end of last week. In its manifesto, Labour ruled out rejoining the EU customs union and single market but committed to exploring ways to reduce barriers to trade, including negotiating a new veterinary agreement with the EU.

Reynolds said in his Sky interview: “We’re not going to revisit those constitutional arguments, but of course there it’s in the mutual interest of the European Union and the UK to work together, that good faith relationship has got to make sense.”


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