Scottish fish exports to the EU have dropped by 27%, according to a report.
SEAFOOD exports from Scotland to the EU have been severely harmed as a result of Brexit, according to a new analysis.
The overall quantity sent to the continent in the first four months of 2021 was 27 percent lower than in the same period of 2018, according to a document titled The Brexit Referendum Five Years On – Summary of Impacts to Date Information Note from the Scottish Government. “According to HMRC, UK exports of food and live animals to the EU, which includes shellfish and fish, fell by £1.2 billion (34 percent) in the first four months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2018, with one of the primary reasons being tougher checks and certifications,” it said.
“Reports suggest that in January 2021, for example, consignment sign-off took six times longer, and goods transit to France took three days rather than an overnight transit.
“This renders the transaction unviable for some of these sectors.”
The interruption to the seafood industry since early January, according to the research, “provides the clearest evidence thus far of the additional costs and losses involved with becoming an EU third country, as well as the trade frictions that arise, including coping with new and untested processes.”
“Taking into consideration steps such as software upgrades and changes in working habits, the shellfish sector has cited additional costs of £500-£600 per consignment, independent of size,” the report continued.
“As a result of the deal itself and a lack of time to prepare for it, both here and in EU member states, issues in the seafood sector are heavily intertwined.”
According to the research, more than 70% of Scottish seafood exports, worth more than £770 million, went to the European Union in 2019.
“Following severe drops in fish exports to EU countries in January 2021, February and March numbers showed signs of recovery,” the report stated.
“However, April’s trade numbers indicated that any rebound was weakening.
“Total fish exports from the United Kingdom in 2021 were 27% lower than in the first four months of 2018.”
MPs said the Scottish fish industry is “drowning in bureaucracy and red tape” and faces a “existential threat” during a tumultuous debate in the House of Commons yesterday.
“When damage is done to the.”Brinkwire Summary News”, says Deidre Brock, SNP MP for Edinburgh North and Leith.