Home U.K EU pickle: 'Fuming' Boris to introduce tit-for-tat import bans after shellfish 'snub'

EU pickle: 'Fuming' Boris to introduce tit-for-tat import bans after shellfish 'snub'

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The Prime minister is reported to be fuming, after the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, allegedly snubbed a request to meet the Environment Secretary George Eustice in a bid to resolve the issue. In what is now being dubbed as ‘Water Wars’, the Government is weighing up proposals to restrict imports of European mineral water and seed potatoes. The EU currently has a temporary agreement, allowing it to continue importing seed potatoes until the end of June.

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.

Number 10 previously said it thought that the restrictions on shellfish exports would end on April 21.

Ministers were led to believe that Brussels would change its rules to allow un-purified shellfish from non-member states to enter its markets on that date.

Most British shellfish is deemed “un-purified” due to a lack of so-called “class A waters” in and around the UK – the cleanest category.

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The Government was quick to announce that it would extend financial support to fishermen and exporters affected by the ban.

They will now be allowed to apply for funds from the £23 million support package the Cabinet introduced to help the fishing industry through the Brexit transition.

The grants will start in March and will cover three months of average fixed costs.



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