BORIS Johnson has dismissed fears Scotland’s fishing industry could be devastated by his Brexit deal, describing it as a “fantastic opportunity”.

Last week, Scottish ministers warned that Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill contained a “loophole” that could decimate the country’s ports and fish processing sector.

They warned that it would be more profitable for Scottish fishing vessels to register in ports in Northern Ireland, and land their catch there, effectively keeping it in the EU’s customs union.

The fish could then be transported to the Republic of Ireland without undergoing processing, which in turn could see it exempted from customs duties.

Fish landed in Scotland and then exported to the EU could face being hit by damaging tariffs. Under Theresa May’s ill-fated Brexit, the backstop specifically excluded fisheries and aquaculture products from the temporary customs union.

In the Commons yesterday, the SNP Brendan O’Hara urged the Prime Minister to admit that his agreement with Brussels would lead to Scotland’s fishing industry losing out.

The MP said: “If the Prime Minister’s great deal is so good for Northern Ireland’s seafood producers because it allows them access to the single market and customs union, how would he describe his deal for the shellfish producers of my Argyll and Bute constituency, who fish in the same waters for exactly the same catch but will not have access to the single market and customs union?

“One has a great deal; what does the other one have?”

Johnson disagreed. The Prime Minister told O’Hara that the “fishing communities of Scotland will have a fantastic opportunity, by the end of next year, to take back control of their entire coastal waters—all 200 miles of them—and to manage their fisheries in the interests of Scotland and thereby drive an even better deal for even better access to European markets.”

He added: “That opportunity would be wantonly thrown away by the abject, servile policy of the SNP, which would hand back control of Scottish fishing to Brussels.”

Meanwhile, Moray MP Douglas Ross urged the Prime Minister to stand up to Donald Trump over the President’s crippling tariffs on Scottish produce, including whisky and shortbread.

The White House slapped a staggering 25% levy on single malts coming into the US as part of a long-running legal battle between European manufacturer Airbus, and its American rival, Boeing.

The Tory MP told his leader: “Last week saw damaging US tariffs applied to many iconic Moray products such as single malt Scotch whisky and shortbread.

“These industries have nothing to do with the dispute between the US and the EU, so what are the Government and the Prime Minister doing to get those tariffs removed as quickly as possible?”

Johnson said that he had raised the matter personally with Trump.

“It is a rank injustice that Scotch whisky is being penalised in this way, and we hope that those tariffs will be withdrawn as soon as possible” he added.