SSPO: We welcome the new Brexit deal

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The body representing Scottish salmon farmers says the prospect of a deal is particularly important in ‘the run-up to Christmas’.

It follows news that the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has secured a deal with the EU which removes the Northern Ireland backstop arrangement that was seen to be stalling talks between the two sides.

In a statement given to Salmon Business this afternoon, Hamish Macdonell, the director of strategic engagement for the SSPO, said: “We welcome the prospect of a deal as it lifts the threat of barriers to trade with the rest of the EU in the run up to Christmas, which is a very important period for the Scottish salmon sector.

“Of course, the details will need to be studied carefully but for now we hope that a deal will represent business as usual.”

Both Boris Johnson and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described the deal as ‘fair’, but Boris’s government counterparts – who they are currently in a confidence and supply agreement with – the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have refused to back it.

A special Saturday sitting of the House of Parliament is due to take place this weekend where MPs and Lords are being urged to back the new proposals put before them.

If they don’t, Boris is legally obliged to seek an extension under the terms of the Benn Act.

But Mr Juncker – who speaks on behalf of the other 27 member states – has ruled out a further extension to the Brexit process, which was supposed to originally conclude in March.

The new date for the UK to leave the EU is set as October 31.