I was pleased to see a commitment from the Scottish Government to help support our seafood sector.
Fergus Ewing announced a £7.75m fund for fishermen, processors and ports affected by the Covid-19 lockdown and export difficulties since the New Year.
This follows £23m announced by the UK Government, on top of £100m previously pledged by the Prime Minister to help the industry grow and develop in the coming years.
Mr Ewing’s intervention was welcome, not least because he has spent the previous 18 months repeatedly stating that Brexit was not “Scottish Government policy” in response to challenges on what the Scottish Government was doing to help prepare the industry.
I have been busy since before the end of the transition period last year, working closely with the industry and other UK Government departments.
Temporary issues affecting exports to the EU have largely been, or are in the process of being, resolved.
The UK Government continues to work on some of the ongoing customs issues on the EU side – including such details as the colour of ink used on forms and mis-spelled names of towns!
On top of the progress made, I continue to work with stakeholders across the industry.
On a different subject, I must say I was very disappointed to see the EU Commission threatening to close the EU/Northern Ireland border to block the supply of Covid vaccines.
While the EU very quickly backtracked on this reckless move, the response from our Prime Minister was calm and measured.
Finally, it was very sad to hear of the passing of Sir Captain Tom Moore.
His efforts in raising £32m for NHS charities last year inspired the whole nation.
Very few of us make such a difference to so many people. To do so while approaching 100 is truly remarkable.