State broadcaster throws word-safety net around state

The reality of the situation for Scottish exporters post-Brexit is clear in this tweet:

BBC Reporting Scotland, formerly obsessed with trips to Peterhead to interview angry fishermen, gave us a few seconds late in the show, including a defence by Michael Gove. The BBC Scotland website offers us a classic piece of evasion and deflection to protect the UK Government from criticism.

I’ve highlighted key words, phrases and omissions:

The Scottish Seafood Association says exports to the EU are being hit by “red tape” delays in Scotland and France. It claims up to 25 trucks were backlogged for clearance due to computer problems in Boulogne on Tuesday. Delays have also affected distribution at three depots in Lanarkshire. The UK government said it was aware of “a small number of issues…due to some information not being entered correctly into UK and French systems”. The Scottish Seafood Association has warned the [UK Government] problem is likely to get worse in the coming days as the pace of trade increases. Delays in Scotland are due to the time it takes to get an Export Health Certificate [from the UK Department] for both wild-caught fish and farmed salmon.

So, blame the French. Blame human error. Hide the presence of the UK Government and deflect with references to England suffering too.

Further down, we read from Jimmy Buchan chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association:

Ministers of both the UK and Scottish governments need to get on top of the situation and resolve these issues as soon as possible.

Blame the SNP for the faults of the Tories?

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12 thoughts on “State broadcaster throws word-safety net around state

  1. “Anything but the truth”

    The propaganda is relentless now. Even with the obvious direct connection to the Brexit madness the Government continue to lie to the public. However the media support and propagation of their lies is even more outrageous…especially by the BBC.

    A comparison to Trump and Fox News during peak “Trumpism” is appropriate.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. If Scotland’s food exporters think things are bad just now,wait and see how the EU reacts to the “divergence” planned by England’s right wing governments.
    Those fishermen who could only see the prize of unrestricted quotas boosting their profits without taking into account restricted ability to sell their product were,to put it charitably,naive.
    Good luck trying to sell their product to markets thousands of miles away.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Let’s remind folk that this situation is what the Scottish Tory MPs voted for in December so they must have wanted it and then criticised the SNP for voting against it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This BBC report in advance of the Brexit vote shows how uninformed were the representatives of the Scottish fishermen regarding the effect of EU regulations on agrifoods such as fish after the chosen Brexit. Mr Armstrong, to his credit, realises the complications of Brexit.

    “But the whole debate is much more complicated than this, and the balance of benefits brought through membership of the EU also needs to be carefully considered – not least those provided by an open market place for our seafood products, and no doubt for many other reasons too.”

    Mr Buchan is willing to take “a leap in the dark”

    “When I go to the ballot box, it’s time to take that leap in the dark. I am prepared, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”

    Neither seem aware of the difficulties of being a third country and the sanitary/phytosanitary conditions routinely imposed by the EU on third countries. These conditions mean paperwork relating to agrifood production and the possibility of routine inspections of goods carried to the EU.

    That these conditions would apply was well known by some, long ago. But not in the food industries in the UK.

    “Since there are no exceptions for any third country – which the UK was to become – and the requirements were sketched out in the Commission’s notice to stakeholders, there can be no excuse for despatching such a load without the required “paperwork”.

    Yet, it seems, Mr White has not been alone in his misfortune. The Telegraph – relying on “industry sources” – tell us that French officials have warned the majority of lorries arriving into the country from the UK with food products are not meeting “new” EU requirements around phytosanitary (SPS) controls.”

    Blaming the Scottish govrnment for not doing more to inform industry?
    The Scottish government produced a paper on sanitary/pytosanitary effects in 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That didn’t come out as i had hoped.
    You have to read a few other tweets to out it together


  6. So the consequences of non-tariff trade barriers are now being felt by Scottish salmon exporters to the EU. It’s worth looking afresh at what this industry has to lose and also for signs of what it might gain from ‘global Britain’ trading no longer as an EU member.

    We learn from the website of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) that Scottish salmon is the UK’s most important food export. We also learn that it exports to more than 50 countries. The industry’s top five largest export market are, number one the EU, then the USA, China, Taiwan and Japan.

    Of course the commercial status and global trade reach of Scottish salmon producers was achieved whilst operating within the EU single market and customs union. It was whilst having access to what the EU reported in November, 2020 were its free trade or other preferential trade agreements with 65 partner countries globally. This includes the EU’s FTA with Japan since February 2019.

    So what else is the SSPO saying nowadays about international trade – about the ‘positives’ – as a consequence of Brexit? On its website, the SSPO says it: “welcomes the announcement of the UK-Japan trade agreement”. Sounds like an early Brexit dividend?

    But what is actually being welcomed here! The SSPO states: “This agreement confirms that Scottish salmon producers WILL CONTINUE TO BE ABLE to supply the Japanese market without restrictive tariffs”. (my emphasis) So in effect the SSPO is “welcoming” – or to put it another way, is expressing relief – that the regulations governing its members trade with Japan will not change from those previously enjoyed through the EU/Japan FTA. So is the Brexit dividend here effectively zero?

    But perhaps Scottish salmon exports to Japan had been overly constrained or had stagnated for some reason whilst the UK was within the EU. It seems not. For the Japanese market, the SSPA reports that exports of Scottish salmon increased by 46% by weight and 66% by value (to £9.2 million) in 2019 – this, to repeat whilst trading within the EU’s FTA.

    (For more general interest: the SSPO reported recently on the first shipment of Scottish salmon to Saudi Arabia in 18 months. “A shipment of Mowi Scotland salmon arrived in Dammam on Saturday 21st November, effectively re-opening the Saudi Arabian market after a lengthy hiatus due to the changes in Saudi seafood regulations in mid-2019.” Interestingly, look who worked together to negotiate this international market access: “Scottish Development International, Seafood Scotland and Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation have been working to overcome this trade barrier and secure new market access.”)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The negative – often blunt – language aimed at the Tory government coming from fishing industry representatives in Scotland and across the UK now is notable and unusual. It began with concerns over the nature of the UK/EU trade deal and now also relates to the logistics problems being experienced by fish exporters.

    We know of the profile established by this industry in Scotland over the years by many of its leaders and amplified, largely uncritically, by the mainstream media and BBC in Scotland. In general, it has been pro-Brexit, pro-Tory, pro-Union, anti-SNP, anti-independence.

    The turn of events since December 2020 should be a threat to Tory aspirations in NE Scotland in next May’s elections. Or at least they would be given reasonable media coverage.

    We may need to rely on sites like this one to aggregate, to amplify and to sustain communication for general public consumption the information on how the industry has been failed by the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and its elected members. What is significant now is that this information – the evidence – is coming from the Scottish industry’s own representatives.

    The prize is a big one – the demise of the Tory Party’s NE Scotland MEPs in the next Holyrood Parliament plus hopefully a growing realisation across this industry that its interests are best served by Holyrood and never by Westminster!


  8. The “Newsletter” is one of the oldest newspapers, if not the oldest, in the UK still publishing. If my memory is sound, a founder of the paper was a descendant of Henry Joy McCracken (of Huguenot ancestry originally?). Henry Joy was hanged after the crushing of the United Irishmen. The paper changed tack and is now firmly unionist.

    “The ‘Newsletter’ shows very worrying news from Northern Ireland, where transport providers estimate there are just five days before food distribution breaks down,

    Remarkably this includes Tesco, which is by far Britain’s largest food distributor and who, in my experience at least, are usually legally and technically proficient.

    Some of HMRC systems are thought to be faulty and the widely anticipated shortage of vets available to sign export health certificates, which are an essential requirement for moving many food products, is a major handicap.

    Effectively supplying Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, is just the same as exporting to somewhere outside the UK.

    No wonder one haulier is quoted as saying:

    It is currently easier to ship a container to China than a trailer from Cairnryan to Larne.

    This is food distribution within the UK that is failing and which is gradually being throttled.

    By its own government.

    In the middle of a pandemic.”


  9. The SNP/SG does very little to combat these britnat lies. Partly because it can’t make the britnat media listen to them but also because the SNP/SG doesn’t embrace and use the many excellent pro-indy websites like this one.

    For god’s sake SNP/SG get down from your high horse and use the help offered by these websites.


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