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Brexit: Fishing firms hold London protest over disruption

Click on the flag for more information about United Kingdom UNITED KINGDOM
Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 20:00 (GMT + 9)

Boris Johnson has pledged £23m to help businesses affected by Brexit delays amid protests by fishing firms.

Demonstrations took place outside government departments in central London by exporters who are warning their livelihoods are under threat.

Exports of fresh fish and seafood have been severely disrupted by new border controls since the UK's transition period ended earlier this month.

The PM said firms would be compensated for delays that were not their fault.

Industry associations have complained that extra paperwork has made it difficult to deliver fresh produce to mainland Europe before it goes off.

They have warned that if the situation continues, jobs could soon be at risk.

Pressed on what he would do in response, Mr Johnson said the government would step in to support firms which "through no fault of their own have experienced bureaucratic delays, difficulties getting their goods through, where there is a genuine willing buyer on the other side of the channel".

  

Photo: courtesy jamaica-gleaner

"There's a £23m compensation fund we've set up and we'll make sure they get help," he said.

Details of the scheme are expected later this week.

After a day of protests in central London, which saw 20 lorries drive up Whitehall, the Metropolitan Police said 14 people had been reported for Covid-related offences, but no arrests were made.

Mark Moore, manager of the Dartmouth Crab Company, said his business and others were protesting to "raise awareness" of the impact of new border checks.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live his company had faced delays of up to eight and a half hours when delivering produce into the European Union.

   

Photo: courtesy jamaica-gleaner

He added that the situation was "especially difficult" for the shellfish sector, where goods were at risk of going off before reaching customers.

"It's not about the increased documentation per se," he said.

"We have taken that on board, and we ourselves - and I know many others - have had no issues with producing the actual paperwork.

"It's the volume required and the timeframe in which to produce it, which doesn't lend itself to live shellfish and fish generally."

Source: BBC

Related news:

IN BRIEF - Al Jazeera: Scottish fishing industry faces crisis over EU shipping delays (video)

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