British crab fishermen are protesting around Downing Street about the paperwork that has been needed since the Brexit to export their goods to the European Union. More than 20 trucks equipped with slogans parked near the residence of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Fishermen are struggling to get their products to EU customers in good time because of all the extra red tape.
The fishermen accuse the British government of destroying their profession and lying about the problems. Scottish fishermen have already indicated that they will no longer be exporting to the EU for the time being because there have been too many delays and that the paperwork is too much work. As a result, they got lower prices for their catch.
In Britain, large quantities of Norway lobster, crabs, lobster, scallops, mussels and oysters are grown and caught. Most are then exported to the EU. The Brexit agreement concluded last month makes it possible to do so without import duties, but the demands on food exports are a problem. Many documents are needed, the fishermen complain. Sometimes there are also conflicting requirements.
Last week, Food Minister George Eustice announced that there are some teething problems in the post-Brexit export system, but they can be resolved quickly. The fishermen say that this is how their businesses are being destroyed and that the British government underestimates the seriousness of the situation. They want a simpler system and feel that there are too few customs officials on either side of the border.