Conservative MEP Ian Duncan has sought clarity from Scottish Fishing Minister Fergus Ewing MSP after confusion over the administration of the European Maritime and Fishing Fund (EMFF).
Following the result of the UK referendum to leave the European Union, the Chancellor of the Exchequer made an assurance that all European Structural and Investment Fund projects and funding agreements contracted before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded, even when the project extends beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.
However, there has been confusion in Scotland with some projects being given a spend by date of March 2018.
Ian wrote to Fergus Ewing MSP:
'I was therefore concerned to learn from a constituent that Marine Scotland has issued advice indicating that as a result of the ‘many, as yet, unknown factors surrounding any future Brexit negotiation,’ all grant monies would need to be spent by 2018, in direct contradiction of the support offered by the UK Government. My colleague Fin Carson MSP challenged Marine Scotland on this point, only to be told that the advice was no longer relevant. As yet, this information has not been conveyed to fishermen.
'Can I ask you, as a matter of urgency, to ensure that Marine Scotland provides the correct advice to all affected fishermen. This is not a time for the Scottish Government and its agencies to be sowing seeds of confusion.'