British shellfish fishermen are protesting around Downing Street against the paperwork that has been needed since Brexit to export their wares to the European Union.
More than 20 trucks with slogans parked near the residence of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Due to all the extra hassle, fishermen struggle to get their products to customers in the EU on time.
The fishermen accuse the British government of destroying their profession and lying about the problems. Scottish fishermen had previously announced that they would no longer export to the EU for the time being because there were too many delays and that the paperwork is creating too much work. As a result, they got lower prices for their catch.
Large quantities of langoustines, crabs, lobster, scallops, mussels and oysters are farmed and caught in Great Britain. The majority is then exported to the EU.
Thanks to the Brexit agreement concluded last month, this can be done without import duties, but the requirements imposed on food exports do pose a problem. Many documents are needed; the fishermen complain. Sometimes there are also conflicting requirements.
Last week, Food Secretary George Eustice announced some teething problems in the export system after Brexit, but that they can be quickly resolved.
Fishermen say their businesses are breaking down in this way and the British government underestimates the situation’s gravity. They want a more straightforward system and believe that there are too few customs officers on either side of the border.