Scotland Minister asked for time frame on fixing fishing supply line problems caused by Brexit says 'how long is a piece of string?'

A Scotland Minister asked for time frame on fixing the fishing supply line problems caused by Brexit today responded: “how long is a piece of string?”.

A Scotland Minister asked for time frame on fixing the fishing supply line problems caused by Brexit today responded: “how long is a piece of string?”.
A Scotland Minister asked for time frame on fixing the fishing supply line problems caused by Brexit today responded: “how long is a piece of string?”.

In an interview with the BBC, Tory MP David Duguid was asked how long it will take to fix supply chain problems caused by Brexit.

He responded “how long is a piece of string?”.

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It comes as Scottish seafood deliveries to the EU have been halted until January 18 because of Brexit.

His comments were pounced upon by the SNP, with the party’s candidate for Banffshire & Buchan Coast Karen Adam claiming the responsibility was solely on the Tories.She said: “Despite claiming that there would be a ‘sea of opportunity’ when it came to our fishing and seafood sectors, UK Tory Ministers have now washed their hands of all responsibility, showing sheer complacency about the threat to one of our most successful industries.

“The Tories told lie after lie about what would happen when we left the EU. Instead, what we have is chaos, poor preparation, systems that don’t work and businesses being left to fend for themselves - and a UK Fisheries Minister who astonishingly admitted she had not even read the damaging Brexit deal because she was busy organising a Nativity trail.

"It’s a disgrace that the Tories think they can just walk away and tell Scotland’s food, drink, seafood and farming industries that they’ll just have to suck it up.

“Boris Johnson and his band of Brexiteers simply can’t be trusted when it comes to standing up for Scottish interests. The only way to protect our economy and industry is to become an independent country within the EU.”

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It comes as Scottish seafood deliveries to the EU have been halted until January 18 because of Brexit.

Smaller firms have faced a series of problems from long health checks, IT systems and new customs documents.

Now facing a huge backlog, Scottish fishing has been plunged into crisis with lorry-loads of live seafood being abandoned due to a failure to send it across.

The new rules require every box of seafood and fish to be offloaded from lorries and inspected before it leaves Scotland, a process that has seen business owners have to wait five hours per lorry for a health certificate.

There are now concerns if the issues are not solved soon, businesses worth more than £1billion a year to Scotland could go under.

Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael said: “The suspension of Scottish seafood exports for several days needs to be the screaming alarm call that gets the gears of government into motion.

“Every day that boats are tied up and consignments are rotting in their containers is another dagger in the heart of our fishing industry.

“That disruption alone would be bad enough but we heard this morning from David Duguid – Scotland Office Minister and MP for Peterhead no less – that resolving the issues could take weeks.”He said ‘how long is a piece of string?’ – well he may find that fishermen have quite a short fuse with the sorts of flippant answers he was giving.”

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