Borders seafood lorries join Brexit trade deal protest at Westminster

Lorry drivers from a Borders seafood company have been taking part in a protest at Westminster.

HGVs used to transport British shellfish parked near Downing Street to protest about delays in transporting their produce to the EU because of the new Brexit rules.

Among them were drivers from D.R. Collin and Sons, the biggest employer in Eyemouth, with around 200 workers. 

Last week, James Cook, the firm's Managing Director, told ITV Border since the Brexit transition period ended they have been unable to export fresh shellfish to the EU. He said Brexit has "more or less finished" his business.

In a post on Facebook, the company said six lorries had arrived in the capital early this morning, despite coronavirus lockdown rules.

Many trucks were sporting messages, such as "Incompetent government destroying the seafood industry".A spokesperson from D.R Collin & Son, who were taking part in the protest, said: "The industry is being tied in knots with paperwork requirements which would be easy enough to navigate, given that companies have put in the time and training in order to have all the relevant procedures in place for 1st January 2021.

"However, all the training is going to waste as the technology is outdated and cannot cope with the demands being placed on it - which in turn is resulting in no produce being able to leave the UK.

Credit: PA

"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.

"Action needs to be taken urgently to allow the procedures to be realigned in a manner which reflects the time restraints faced in the export of live shellfish to Europe.

"We are trying to adapt our business together with our customers with a view to come into line with the new regulations, however, no-one is listening to our industry."

The UK is government says they're working closely with the fishing industry and will set out more details shortly on how they will continue to support them.

Eyemouth seafood producer warns border issues at Dover will mean huge trade loss