On Monday 8 February, Sir David Amess asked the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to support local, small independent fishermen when exporting shellfish to the European Union.
Sir David Amess said:
This is all very disappointing and unfair. Following what the hon. Member for Barnsley East (Stephanie Peacock) has just said, I have many small independent fishermen and wholesalers whose very livelihoods depend on the export of live molluscs to the European Union. I know that my right hon. Friend is working very hard on the issue, but will he redouble his efforts? We just want the law to be upheld. The EU changed its mind on vaccines; perhaps it will change its mind on shellfish.
George Eustice replied:
My hon. Friend makes an important point. We believe that the EU has simply made an error in interpretation of the law in all the regulations it has cited. We are working closely with it to try to resolve this at a technical level. We do not think that the ban it has put in place is at all justified and, indeed, it represents a complete about turn on everything the EU has told us to date. We want the EU market to have access to the fantastic shellfish we produce in constituencies such as my hon. Friend’s.