More than 20 shellfish trucks parked outside the British parliament and the residence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson took part in a protest against the post-Brexit bureaucracy, which they say has stopped exports to the European Union.
This was reported by Reuters.
Many anglers have been unable to export to the EU since catch certificates, health checks, and customs declarations were introduced earlier this year, delaying the delivery of products and prompting European buyers to reject them.
Trucks with slogans such as “Brexit Massacre” and “Incompetent Government, Destroys Shellfish Industry” were parked a few meters from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office in Downing Street, in central London. Police asked truck drivers for details.
“We believe the system has the potential to break down,” said Gary Hodgson, director of Venture Seafoods, which exports live and processed crab and lobster to the EU.
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs to be honest with us, with himself, and with the British public about the industry’s problems,” he added.
Under an agreement reached last month, British trade with the EU remains free of tariffs and quotas on goods, but fish exporters say their businesses are now facing a host of often conflicting EU export requirements.
A spokesman for the British government’s Environment Department declined to comment immediately. Last week, Environment Secretary George Eustis said that “teething problems” over fish exports after Brexit could be resolved soon.
Protesters said the British government must understand the seriousness of the problems they face and the impact on coastal communities.