Brexit warning! UK fishermen told to prepare for upcoming rule change

French fisherman supports retaliation over fishing row

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Seafood exporters will be required to comply with new food standards regulations from next year. Firms which export fish and other aquaculture products for human consumption to the EU must fill out an Export Health Certificate (EHC) from January 15, 2022.

Kate Higgins, a special adviser to Nicola Sturgeon on rural affairs, food, islands and transport, issued the reminder on Twitter.

She wrote: “Brexit just keeps giving to our hard pressed exporters but as a responsible government @Scotsgov is working hard to help them get the message about changes and giving them time to prepare.

“If you export farmed or caught seafood, please follow the link and share too.”

The changes mean seafood products must be certified by the EHC rather than a Food Competent Certifying Officer.

The measures were due to come into force in August but were delayed until the new year.

The UK finally left the shackles of the EU at the start of 2021 and is now being treated as a third country by the bloc.

The EU adopted a new robust Animal Health Law in March 2016 and requires countries outside the EU, who are looking to do business in the European market, to follow its rules on animal-based products.

The UK and EU signed a Trade and Co-Operation Agreement on December 24, 2020, and the deal slashed EU fishing quotas in UK waters by 25 percent over the next five years.

By 2026, it is estimated that UK boats will have access to an extra £145million of fishing quota every year.

Fishing arrangements have continued to be a major source of tension between the UK and EU.

France has hit out over the number of licences issued to its trawlers to land in the six to 12 nautical mile zone off the British coast.

EU vessels must now prove they have a history of fishing in UK waters and French officials claim they are around 150 licences short.


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Paris has repeatedly threatened sanctions against the UK, but backed down earlier this month and agreed to further talks.

But, Olivier Lepretre, president of the organisation which represents fishermen’s interests in northern France, has warned “action is imminent”.

Meanwhile, Stephane Fournier, one of the dozens of fishermen awaiting a licence, warned UK ports and access to EU markets could be denied.

He said: “All trans-Channel traffic (and) all freight in all the ports of France will be blocked.

“Britain wants to get access to the European market? They should give us the licences. If not, we will cut their access.”

Downing Street has this afternoon confirmed the position of the UK has not changed.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “We will provide additional licences when the requisite evidence is supplied, we’re not negotiating over changing that approach.”

Speaking on Monday evening, France’s Europe minister Clement Beaune said he wants a “constructive solution”, but insisted Paris has “all options on the table”.

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