THE Scottish seafood industry is facing a further wave of red-tape when postponed certification comes into force in the New Year just as further disruption hits the border with France.

All seafood exports will need a health certificate from January but the question is even if they breech the barrier of bureaucracy how far will they then get?

Separately, the border upheaval will also mean the UK reintroducing full customs controls on all goods coming from the European Union, which of course should have been happening, but was judged impossible, such was the shambles left be the UK’s departure from the EU.

Given the less than successful flow of trade since Brexit already, this doesn’t bode well.

French fishermen were on Friday moving to blockade ports and the Channel Tunnel as the row over Brexit licences deepens.


The move prompted Salmon Scotland, formerly the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, to declare: “We are determined to keep our French customers supplied with Scottish salmon.”

It also said its chief executive, Tavish Scott, has raised the blockades issue with Downing Street and that it is liaising with Defra “to ensure minimal disruption” affecting one of the UK’s biggest exports.

HeraldScotland: Tavish Scott, Scottish Salmon chief executive. Picture by Gordon Terris.Tavish Scott, Scottish Salmon chief executive. Picture by Gordon Terris.

While industry body Seafood Scotland said retaining access to quality fish stocks and its own well-established markets within the EU and further afield will help the recovery from Brexit, it has found the new UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement “presents a clear threat to some sectors of the Scottish seafood industry, whilst providing moderate – but uncertain gains – for others”.

The impact of Brexit is growing and festering and in the eyes of some businesses is overtaking rather than exacerbating the pandemic fall-out.

Article 16 is now cued up for the next stage of the plan. To think of what went into that.

All of this and what will ensue is the direct result of tearing up a free trade agreement that while not perfect stood as a bargaining space.

At this point there is a feel of permanency about the conflict with Europe and the consequences will bring economic repercussions for some time, but it needn’t be forever. The sovereign castle and its clown king are already crumbling.

The position comes under scrutiny in business editor Ian McConnell’s Called to Account column this week. “The chaos suffered by UK exporters, for example, has been crystal clear,” he writes. “And so too has the effect of what was for many Brexiters the whole dismal point of the Leave folly – clamping down on immigration from the European Union.”

Elsewhere, Ivanhoe Caledonian, Edinburgh’s last commercial printing business, has acquired a new property as it targets doubling its turnover by 2023. It has had high demand following a move into the food and drink packaging sector, which has grown in the wake of the pandemic, deputy business editor Scott Wright says.

Efforts to please green lobby could jeopardise jobs in Scotland, according to business correspondent Mark Williamson.

He says a curb on North Sea developments like Cambo could cost employment.

Shares in Marks & Spencer closed at their highest in two and a half years this week after reports that the resurgent retailer is being eyed up as a possible takeover target, business correspondent Kristy Dorsey writes.