THE UK Government has been told it must take urgent action to address the “very real, practical” problems facing the Scottish fishing industry in the event of a No-Deal Brexit .

Bosses from the country’s catching and processing sectors issued the warning in a meeting with UK Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers at Peterhead Fish Market in Aberdeenshire yesterday.

They said failure to provide solutions to some of the “major, practical problems” that would impact on processors if the UK leaves the EU without a deal could prevent the UK from fully benefiting from leaving the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Elspeth Macdonald, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation’s chief executive, said clarity and certainty is needed for seafood processing businesses.

“The entire industry shares the goal of leaving the CFP because this will allow the UK to determine who catches what, where and when in UK waters, and will lead to Scottish boats being able in future to catch a fairer share of the available quota from our own waters,” she said.

“Without urgent action by the Government to provide solutions to these very real, practical problems facing the fish processors in a No-Deal scenario, this could threaten the uplift that the whole industry will get from the UK becoming an independent coastal state with the ability to manage its own fisheries.”

Jimmy Buchan, chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association, said: “With potentially only 40 days until the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the industry is facing a series of major impediments to the continued smooth export of seafood produce to the EU.

“Despite lengthy discussions and promises of solutions, the Government has not been able to reassure us that there will not be lengthy delays for trucks exporting fresh and live produce through Dover to Calais and a number of other routes on to the continent.”