Banff and Buchan MP has hailed the “optimism” of the fishing industry in the north-east after touring Peterhead fish market with new DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove.
David Duguid welcomed Mr Gove to his constituency on Friday for meetings with sector leaders to discuss the “sea of opportunity” for coastal communities post-Brexit.
It was the second visit from a UK Cabinet Minister to Banff and Buchan in the space of a week, following Scottish Secretary David Mundell’s trip north last Friday.
Mr Duguid pledged during the election campaign to be a strong voice for key local industries in the north-east, including fishing, farming, tourism and oil and gas.
He said: “I am delighted that we have had two visits from UK Cabinet Ministers to Peterhead since the election. I think that shows how important the fishing industry, and this north-east corner as a whole, is to the Conservative government at Westminster.
“I think the presence of DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove and Scottish Secretary David Mundell sends a clear message to the fishing sector that we are determined to secure the best deal possible as we navigate our way out of the EU.
“There was a real sense of optimism around the market and the harbour today – our fishermen can see the huge opportunity that awaits them once we leave the EU.
“We want to make sure that we leave the Common Fisheries Policy and take back control of our waters out to 200 miles.
“I will be using every opportunity possible to speak up for the people of this area and was delighted that one of the first issues addressed in the Brexit talks was the rights of EU citizens already in the UK.
“I want to see their status clarified as soon as possible not only in fairness to the individuals concerned but also to give some certainty to the industries who rely heavily on EU workers – including fish processing.”