Boris Johnson overpays for box of cod during fish market visit

6 September 2019, 11:19

Boris Johnson visits Peterhead fish market
Boris Johnson visits Peterhead fish market. Picture: PA

Boris Johnson appeared to overpay for a box of cod after getting into a bidding war at a fish market in Scotland.

The Prime Minister joined in with an auction during a visit to Peterhead Fish Market to meet people in the fishing and farming industries.

Mr Johnson, accompanied by the Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, was shown around the market and joined in with bidding for fish, winning an auction for a box of cod with a £185 bid.

Asked whether it was a good price, Simon Brebner - the chief executive of the Peterhead Fish Market, said: "If you're selling, it's a great price. If you're buying, maybe it's a little high.

"It depends on supply and demand, but on Fridays you get good prices."

Although he won the overpriced fish, placing his ticket in the ice-filled box, Mr Johnson left the market without his purchase and aides were unable to confirm what would happen to the box.

The Prime Minister was visiting Scotland to announce additional funding for Scottish farmers before spending a night at the Queen's Balmoral residence, following a difficult week in Parliament which saw him lose votes about Brexit and calling a general election.

During his first stop in the fishing town just north of Aberdeen, Mr Johnson watched as fishermen landed their catches and brought them into the market to sell, before a short sail around the harbour on a boat named Opportunus.

With pressure mounting on Mr Johnson over Brexit after MPs voted to rule out no-deal, Mr Brerbner said he would urge the PM to get a deal or risk delays to "perishable" fish exports at the border.

"I think it would be good to get a deal, to get a trade deal in place," he said.

"If there's no trade deal then there's a lot of uncertainty.

"We'd like to see a deal with Europe, but one that works for both parties and not a one-sided deal.

"It's a sea of opportunity up here.

"Once we know where we are with Brexit, there is a huge amount of opportunity to recapture the seas and the waters back for the UK."

On the looming prospect of a no-deal Brexit, Mr Brebner added: "We're not quite sure what it's going to do, but what it is going to do is its going to put a lot of additional costs and procedures in place which would not be as seamless as we would like and what is happening at the moment.

"Fish are being landed today, processed today, transported to France and tomorrow it's probably on somebody's plate for lunch.

"With a no-deal, there's non-tariff issues like documentation and delays at the border. This is a perishable product so any delay reduces the quality and we don't want that.

"We want the freshest fish to land at markets in France and Spain so they can enjoy the value. Any delay to that can affect value and that affects price.

"There's a knock-on effect, but I'm sure the Prime Minister will take that into consideration when we have a round-table meeting later this morning."