MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, Douglas Chapman, was in Copenhagen this week for further talks with the DFDS Group and the team behind the new ferry link from Rosyth to Zeebrugge.

Chapman met with the senior vice president at shipping company DFDS, Kell Robdrup, and Derek Sloan, the director of Ptarmigan Shipping, to discuss freight, passengers and ferries and the latest update on progress to reinstate the sea route to the continent.

Chapman said: “It was a pleasure to be in Copenhagen this week to catch up with potential partners DFDS and build on positive discussions moving forward on this vital ferry link.

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“While there is a lot of financial movement across the project from inflation, pressure on currencies and household budgets which may affect spending, I do believe there is a strong desire on the part of DFDS to have the direct freight and passenger service up and running by early 2023.

“There are a few issues with Border Force and the availability of the vessel we want, but neither issue is a deal breaker, and work continues behind the scenes.

“I left Copenhagen in a very positive frame of mind knowing that we’ve never been closer to delivering a reliable, cost-effective direct maritime link from the heart of Scotland and into the heart of Europe.”

As chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Arctic and Nordic Councils, Chapman met first with the secretary general of the Nordic Council, Kristina Hafoss, in Denmark’s capital city.

Discussions took place on the Nordic Council’s upgraded international strategy that reflects the role of the Nordic region in Europe and future planning in terms of a globalised world and security concerns due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Chapman added: “It was good to meet with Kristina Hafoss again at the Nordic Council in Copenhagen. Earlier this year, she was our guest at the APPG at Westminster, where she talked about the council’s jubilee year and enhancing co-operation between the Council and MPs in the UK.

“I enjoyed sharing perspectives with her on Scotland and on the Faroe Islands, where she has lived and worked as a minister, and future opportunities for collaboration and new partnerships with our APPG and with Scotland as we strengthen our relationship with the Nordic region.”

Chapman also visited with Katrine Feldinger, the head of the Scottish Government’s Nordic Office in Copenhagen, which the First Minister opened earlier this year.

“It was wonderful to visit our new office in Copenhagen for the first time and meet with Katrine Feldinger,”

he added.

“Our focus was firmly on building bridges, boosting trade and developing cultural connections with our Nordic friends to cement existing social and economic links and seek out future opportunities together.”