Fishermen demand Boris Johnson invest in British sector to end Brexit disruption

Brexit: Fishermen calling for EU to ‘overturn the ban’ says expert

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Fishermen have urged Boris Johnson to reopen negotiations with the European Union to modify the agreement struck with the bloc at the end of December 2020. British vessels have reported severe disruption on the export of goods into the continent, a challenge further exacerbated by the ban on unpurified shellfish the EU implemented since Brexit. Oyster fisherman Tim Heard told Sky News: “If I had never put money in the bank and if my wife wasn’t working, I think we’d be out of our house.

“People have turned to drink because of the strength of this. Don’t know where to go, what to do, how to pay their bills.”

Fellow fisherman Jonathan Bailey said that unless the European Union “overturns the ban”, the British industry will need to turn to seek alternative markets to make a profit.

Mr Bailey said: “We’ve got a reservoir of skills, of experts.

And given a little bit of encouragement, a fishery that would probably produce twice as much and everyone earning twice as much if we had markets and it was worked intelligently.”

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Boris Johnson is believed to be considering potential retaliation against the shellfish ban the EU imposed since mid-February.

A Downing Street source told the Telegraph: “There is thought being given to where we can leverage in other areas.

“We have continuity arrangements… we can stop these which means they won’t be able to sell their produce here.”

The row stems from an EU directive earlier this year that banned British fishermen indefinitely from selling live mussels, oysters, clams, cockles and scallops to its member states.

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On New Year’s Day, Mr Macron claimed that Brexit was built on “lies and false promises” as the UK’s full departure from the bloc’s laws and institutions was confirmed.

And France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune said that he hoped the UK would return to the EU one day.

Mr Beaune told Politico: “I don’t forget that there are veterans and youths who were hoping for a future within the EU and hope to rebuild it another way or return one day.

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“I hope the UK will return to the EU one day, to be honest.”

French President Emmanuel Macron tried to ease tensions following the UK’s trade deal agreement in December, describing Britain as a “friend and an ally” to France.

Mr Macron also boasted of European unity amid the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic turmoil.

He added: “Our destiny is first and foremost in Europe.

“We were able to convince Germany, and then the other members of the EU, to devise a single, massive recovery plan and to decide on a common, solidarity-based common debt program to better prepare for our future, engaging in a digital and green transition and creating as many jobs as possible.”

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