Brexit LIVE: Boris urged to act now – UK fishermen fear losing homes over EU fishing ban

Yanis Varoufakis addresses financial issues with the EU in 2018

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The new position, announced by the EU Commission earlier this month, prevent scallops, clams, cockles, oysters and mussels known as bivalve molluscs from being exported to the bloc. 

The move has been branded “petty” and “indefensible” by Environment Secretary George Eustice.

Veteran Oyster catcher Tim Heard claimed his income had completely stopped because of the ban.

The 65-year-old from Falmouth told Sky News: “If I never had a bit of money in the bank and my wife wasn’t working, I think we’d be out of a house.

“There are people here that have turned to drink because of the strength of this – they don’t know where to go, what to do, how to pay their bills.”

Martin Laity, owner of the Sailors Creek Shellfish company, added: “This month, people have managed to pay their mortgage, this next month coming they won’t be able to.”

The introduction of new checks and paperwork since the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31 has also caused disruption to exports of fresh fish and seafood to the EU.

Producers expressed frustration at the lack of Government action, while last month seafood hauliers protested against the Brexit fishing deal by stacking lorries in central London.

Jimmy Buchan, CEO of the Scottish Seafood Association warned they “ended up with the worst of the worst of the worst” and said the UK government’s £23m compensation scheme doesn’t go far enough.

Georgina Wight, head of sales at fish processor Mowi UK told Holyrood’s Rural Economy Committee that costs were “spiralling out of control” as they now have to deal with “mountains of paperwork” to trade with Europe.

In response, Mr Eustice said: “We are continuing to support businesses adapting to new export processes.

“This includes intensive, one to one support for fisheries businesses on the export process, a new training and guidance package and regular dialogue with border officials in France and other countries.”


Boris Johnson has previously described the extension of compulsory motor insurance to a wider range of vehicles on private land as “insane”.

The Vnuk law comes from a 2014 ruling by the European Court of Justice and is named after a Slovenian man knocked off his ladder by a tractor trailer on a farm.

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