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Scotland in Europe

Published: 27 Jun 2016 16:22

Rural Economy Secretary tells EU Farming Ministers Scotland committed to Europe.

Scotland is open for business and will continue working with colleagues across Europe in the best interests of farmers, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said today.

Mr Ewing was attending the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg today where he met counterparts from Germany, France and Ireland as well as Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan. He stressed that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed she will work to protect Scotland's place in Europe and that Scotland will continue regular engagement with the EU.

Mr Ewing also met with UK Government representative Lord Gardiner to call for immediate action on a stalled monkfish swap to the west of Scotland and the catch for Western herring for this year to be at the upper limit of the sustainable level to incentivise scientific research.

Mr Ewing said:

"The European Union provides significant support to Scottish rural communities and is a key market for the food and drink we produce. At Council today, I had the opportunity to stress that we are open for business and working to protect Scotland's role in the EU.

"It is vital that other nations understand Scotland's position and just as vital for our farming and food industry that we work quickly to safeguard the links and relationships that benefit them when it comes to trade.

"I also took the opportunity to speak to the UK Government to press for action on monkfish swaps into Scotland and a higher sustainable catch for herring - which would benefit our fishing industry."