North east Scottish Conservative politicians have met fishermen in Peterhead to hear concerns over the Brexit transition deal announced earlier this week.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid and North-east region MSP Peter Chapman met a group of skippers at the Dolphin Café, next to the harbour office and fish market, to discuss issues facing the sector as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
The agreement between the remaining 27 EU member states and the UK means that existing arrangements on fisheries will continue during the implementation period to December 2020.
Fishing leaders, backed by Scottish Conservative politicians, had called for a shorter, nine-month transition period for the industry.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Duguid said: “There is clearly a lot of anger in our fishing communities – here in Banff and Buchan and indeed across the UK – about the transition deal agreed this week.
“This is the first opportunity I have had since the announcement to talk face-to-face with skippers in Peterhead, and it is important that we maintain that dialogue.
“We are all disappointed, but we must remain focused on the end game and ensure that we have full control over our waters from December 2020.
“The prize is still there to be won, and it is only the Conservatives that can deliver on what our fishing industry is calling for.”
Mr Chapman, Shadow Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, added: “It is incredibly frustrating that we are in this position of having to endure a longer transition period than we wanted.
“Skippers are understandably angry, and I share that anger.
“But we have to remain focused on the end result and getting the right deal.
“We are under no illusion as to what this means for our fishing communities.
“This is a huge opportunity that we simply cannot afford to let slip through our fingers.”