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18 Jan, 2021 14:06

Scottish shellfish lorry drivers stage Brexit protest outside Downing Street (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Scottish shellfish lorry drivers stage Brexit protest outside Downing Street (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Dozens of hauliers working for the Scottish shellfish industry drove through central London on Monday before setting up a protest outside Downing Street over the severe delays caused by Brexit in getting their products to the EU.

The protest reflects growing concerns among the British fishing industry that the post-Brexit measures, including health checks and customs declarations, are imposing insupportable delays that have made it impossible for them to supply quality fresh stock to EU customers since the beginning of the year. 

Around 50 vehicles descended on the capital, with one of the lorries parked by Downing Street, where PM Boris Johnson resides, bearing the slogan “Brexit Carnage”. Another brandished the message “Incompetent Government Destroying Shellfish Industry”

“We can’t possibly carry on without any changes [to the current system],” AM Seafood’s director, Allan Miller, told reporters, adding that, “unless the government do something, a lot of these businesses will be finished.” 

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has decried the existing UK-EU trade process as “shameful and disgraceful”, while UK Environment Secretary George Eustice has argued it is the fault of the Scottish government for not ensuring it has enough inspectors to cope with the post-Brexit measures.

The new rules came into effect after terse trade talks over fisheries nearly resulted in the EU and UK running out of time to reach an agreement on post-Brexit relations before the UK left the bloc. However, businesses in the fishing industry have argued that the resulting deal is not fit for purpose.

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Since the start of the year, the price for fish in some areas of the UK has plummeted by around 80 percent, and some companies in the industry have found themselves losing tens of thousands of pounds as they try to wrestle with the new requirements on international trade.

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