Brexit protest: Shellfish drivers block roads near 10 Downing Street

Marco Green
January 20, 2021

Over 20 shellfish lorries, including one with the slogan "Brexit carnage", have parked on the road just metres from 10 Downing Street in central London, Reuters reported.

Exports of fresh fish and seafood have been severely disrupted by delays since the UK's transition period ended on December 31.

The fishermen are in turmoil after facing a series of problems exporting fish to the European Union since the United Kingdom left the bloc.

A spokesman for the force said: "Police are aware of a protest in Westminster relating to the United Kingdom fishing industry - an appropriate policing plan is in place". Police asked the lorry driver for details.

"These are not "teething issues" as reported by the Government and the consequences of these problems will be catastrophic on the lives of fishermen, fishing towns and the shellfish industry as a whole".

In particular, quite a few Scottish fishermen have been unable to export their stocks to Europe after the EU withdrawal stipulated the introduction of catch certificates, health checks, and customs declarations, with the latter drastically delaying their delivery times and thus prompting European buyers to turn them down.

"We are continuing to work closely with the fishing and aquaculture sectors to make sure that they are supported, and can continue to fish whilst contributing to the economies of our coastal communities", environment minister George Eustice said. Reports suggested as many as 50 lorries had descended on the capital as part of the protest.

Under a deal reached last month, British trade with the European Union remains free of tariffs and quotas, but the erection of a customs border has led to bureaucracy that has hampered "just in time" delivery systems for perishable goods.

Alasdair Hughson, Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation chairman, said: "If this debacle does not improve very soon we are looking at many established businesses coming to the end of the line".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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