£23m compensation scheme opens for Brexit-battered fishing firms

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THE COMPENSATION scheme for fish exporters who have lost business due to Brexit problems has opened. 

The UK Government announced the £23m fund will now be accepting applications, after thousands of fishermen reported facing problems with exporting their produce and selling it in the EU following the end of the transition period.

Despite describing the issues as “teething problems”, the Prime Minister acknowledged that some firms may have lost out on genuine deals and has offered compensation to those affected.

Boris Johnson also said that the pandemic was having a significant impact on the industry and not all the problems they were suffering were a result of the UK leaving the EU.

According to the Department of food and rural affairs (DEFRA), the scheme will be administered by the Marine Management Organisation and will give “financial assistance based on a proportion of losses that can be verified up to a maximum of £100,000 per business.”

Fisheries minister Victoria Prentis said: “Seafood exporting businesses across the UK can apply from today for support from this £23 million scheme, reflecting the unique challenges faced by the sector.

“We will continue to work closely with the fisheries and seafood industry through our Seafood Exports Working Group to troubleshoot any issues that cause delays to the export of these highly perishable goods.”

It comes after the EU was accused of “lawlessness” by one peer this afternoon by placing barriers on some species of live shellfish being exported. 

Tory former cabinet minister Lord Lilley branded the imposition of restrictions “a flagrant abuse” and another example of the EU seeking to “punish” the UK for Brexit.

Environment secretary George Eustice has also written to the EU commissioner for health and food safety Stella Kyriakides about the issues. 

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