Brexit news: Fury as UK shellfish industry snubbed again – Minister won’t apologize | Politics | New
Victoria Prentis, Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), admitted there was “no quick fix” to solving the growing problem of the post –Brexit, pointing rather firmly at the European Union. . Speaking at the Shellfish Association of Great Britain’s annual conference on Wednesday, she said: “The EU’s decision to ban the export of live bivalve molluscs (LMBs) from Class B waters is wrong .
“This is unfair, unwarranted, and I want you to know that we are with you and that we will help you in any way we can.”
Ms Prentis declined to rule out the possibility of the government taking legal action against the EU if it does not give up its difficult position, adding: “I would not rule anything out at this point.”
“It is important that we do what we can to represent your industry.”
But the minister immediately came under intense pressure from shellfish exporters, including one who attacked DEFRA for its “in-depth knowledge” of the industry at “all levels” during the Brexit process.
She has further increased tensions by refusing to apologize on behalf of the government to shellfish exporters whose livelihoods appear to be severely affected after the UK’s complete departure from the EU.
Ms. Prentis told PoliticsHome: âI have made my point very clear.
âI don’t think the European Commission has taken the right approach in this regard.
âThe LMBs that we have always exported are delicious and safe and it was a good way to export and trade.
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He said: “Our shellfish industry is in crisis, and the government’s botched Brexit deal is the problem. But all we get from Tory ministers is excuse after excuse.”
Pollard also called on ministers “to pull themselves together, take responsibility, fix the problem and get front line support.”
Just weeks after the UK completed Brexit late last year, the UK shellfish industry suddenly came to a halt after the EU told them thousands of tonnes of exports oysters, mussels, clams, cockles and scallops would be banned from the block. indefinitely.
British fishermen have reacted with fury, as they have been told to expect the ban to last until spring.
The fishing line between the UK and the EU had already stepped up as live bivalve molluscs (LBMs) ââwere banned from entering the block.
Before these shellfish reach supermarkets and restaurants, they are normally purified or processed and Downing Street had insisted that this ban end on April 21, when Brussels implemented new animal health legislation.
But in another hammer blow to the industry, a European Commission official wrote to the UK shellfish industry at the end of January to inform them that the ban would be in effect indefinitely and would also include farmed molluscs.
DEFRA continued to blame the EU, insisting that Brussels had said this trade would be allowed to continue.
The government department accused the EU of changing its position on the issue without justification or legal basis.
But Brussels fought back, saying the rules for third countries like the UK are clear and long-standing.