Scottish seafood industry leaders have told the UK Environment Secretary more must be done to protect seafood exports to the continent in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Representatives of Scotland's seafood sector met Michael Gove in London on Thursday to discuss planning for the UK potentially leaving the EU without a deal.
They warned that as seafood is perishable it is "imperative" no extra barriers are placed in the way of its access to market.

The industry leaders said the meeting was "constructive" but more work needs to be done.

Jimmy Buchan, of the Scottish Seafood Association, said: "Seafood is perishable so it is imperative that no extra barriers are placed in the way of its access to market.

"We are now hopeful Mr Gove will work with his colleagues across the UK government to make sure access remains as swift and as easy in the future as it is now."

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During the meeting, they discussed issues including certification, potential transport hold-ups and compensation for extra tariff barriers placed on UK exports to the EU.

Hamish Macdonell, of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said: "Scottish seafood rightly enjoys an enviable reputation for quality and availability in European markets.

"As representatives of all seafood sectors, farmed and caught, we made it clear to the UK Government that we are determined to ensure this continues, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

"We held a constructive meeting with Mr Gove and his senior officials, and while we appreciate the preparatory work that has been already been undertaken, we believe more has to be done to protect seafood exports to the continent if no Brexit deal is agreed."

Billy McKenzie, of the Fishing Vessel Owners and Agents Association, and David Duguid, MP for Banff and Buchan, were also at the meeting.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said: "The meeting was very productive.

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"We all want a sustainable, profitable fishing industry and to have the greatest possible tariff-free and barrier-free trade with our European neighbours and negotiate our own trade agreements.

"We look forward to continuing our engagement with the sector to achieve the common goal that exports of this top-quality product can continue in all scenarios."