Scottish seafood hauliers stage protest at Whitehall

18 January 2021 by
Parliament Square

Lorry drivers representing the Scottish fishing industry and its workers have arrived at Westminster this morning to protest Boris Johnson's Brexit trade deal.

The Independent and the BBC have both reported on dozens of lorries arriving at Whitehall with trucks emblazoned with slogans describing workers' fury following the recent Brexit deal.

Jamie McMillan, managing director of Loch Fyne Seafarms and Loch Fyne Langoustines, who has been vocal about the new restrictions since the deal was signed late last year, warned the prime minster to expect the trucks in a video on twitter last Friday 13 January.

He said: "The situation in Scottish fishing is getting worse. It's an unbelievable situation we are in here. It's the 13 January and we can't get any product to the EU whatsoever. The Scottish fishing industry has been made a fool of by the Westminster government. My blood is boiling!

"We can't get our product into the EU market because of red tape and extra paperwork and the prime minister recently dismissed a comment from Ian Blackford MP for Ross, Skye and Lochabar about the losses being felt in Scotland.

He then warned: "Prime minister and Michael Gove, if Scottish exporters can't get their product to market next week we will be coming to Westminster and dumping our shellfish on your doorstep. Rotten. The same way as the UK government is rotten to the core.

"I'm absolutely sickened by this carry on. We are fighting for survival here. Get it sorted and get it sorted now!"

According to The Independent one truck was emblazoned with "Brexit carnage", while another said, "Incompetent government destroying shellfish industry", as they parked just metres from Downing Street.

Mark Moore from the Dartmouth Crab Company joined his Scottish colleagues for the protest and told LBC that the exporting issue was nationwide, and "we are all in this together".

Moore confirmed that about 50 trucks had been due to travel to the capital.

Nicola Sturgeon has described the situation as "shameful and disgraceful," and Jimmy Buchan, chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association, said last week: "The industry in Scotland has basically ground to a halt and businesses that employ hundreds of people in communities around our coastline are losing money.

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, claimed the delays to fishing exports were just "teething problems".

Luke Pollard MP, Labour's shadow environment secretary, responding to Mr Raab's comments, said: "The government should stop blaming the fishing industry and start taking responsibility for the mess it has created by its own incompetence."

Photo: Shutterstock

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