Above is Richard Lochhead (left), Scotland's Fisheries minister. Along with Alex Salmond, Richard Lochhead has worked tirelessly for many years to ensure Scotland's fishing industry receives a fair deal in Europe.
The bulk of the UK's fishing industry is based in Scotland yet the last labour government refused to allow the Scottish government's fisheries minister to attend European Fisheries Council talks. Only a few weeks ago Richard Lochhead said he had been barred from attending an EFC meeting in Vigo, Spain. Instead, the former Labour government sent a junior minister from the House of Lords.
It would appear David Cameron has taken the issue of the UK's fisheries to heart and recognises that Richard Lochhead is the most informed and capable person to speak on behalf of the UK at the council. UK ministers have told the First Minister that they will look favourably on calls from the Scottish government to play a key role in international negotiations on fisheries in Brussels.
A long overdue decision. The damage caused to this industry over the years has been excessive and all because those who have represented the UK in the past were badly prepared and/or had little interest. I know my friends in the north east will be delighted with this decision and finally Scotland will be recognised as a major player in an industry which provides us with one of our staple foods.