We are reproducing this thread for the benefit of those not on Twitter.
Exclusive: DEFRA has been advising shellfish traders than an EU ban on live exports would end in April.
However, the EU has told the industry that the ban is *indefinite*, in an email seen by PoliticsHome.
Businesses say the post-Brexit ban will end them.
Last month I reported that live mussels, cockles, and other shellfish caught in most UK waters were banned from the EU. DEFRA’s advice was that this post-Brexit ban would end in April 21.
However, a Commission email says it is indefinite, not temporary.
The industry held an emergency meeting to discuss the bombshell, which was “contrary” to government info. I’ve seen a November email by Victoria Prentis saying the ban was temporary.
DEFRA is aware of the EU’s stance and will “continue to raise” it with them.
A shellfish trader in Cumbria told me they’d have to invest up to £1m in new facilities to continue exporting. Their buyers are mostly in Spain & France
“This is not a teething issue, this is government removing all our teeth and leaving us unable to eat”
Another Cumbrian shellfish trader told me his businesses “wouldn’t exist” without EU customers. “We have been building these customers for years,” he said.
95 per cent of his exports go to France, mainly Brittany.
Many businesses like these are going to collapse.
Editor: You may have seen or want to re-watch the interview Bylines TV carried out in Brixham recently.
At West Country Bylines, we have been writing about the plight of fishermen for a while and you can read the articles here.