THE Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s recent report, Seafood and Meat Exports to the EU, is a devastating indictment of the Government’s negotiated deal with the EU and the way the agriculture and fishing industries were sidelined and disregarded during negotiations.
The deal has resulted in extra checks, mountains of red-tape (non-tariff barriers), lengthy delays for fish and meat exports, and the complete loss of the export of oysters, mussels and scallops.
Boris Johnson initially extolled the deal saying it was one that “if anything should allow our companies and our exporters to do even more business with our European friends”.
The reality is, of course, completely different as can be seen from evidence given to the Committee from across the food industry.
Scotland Food and Drink said that “as an example of political mismanagement of expectations on the impact of a policy choice, this may have no parallel”, contending that there was a “fundamental lack of honesty” during the transition period on the ‘scale of non-tariff barriers’.
Plymouth Trawler Agents Limited said that “bearing in mind that much of guidance was relevant whether the UK secured a deal or not … it is difficult to understand why so much was left until so late”.
The NFU said that the agri-food industry had been “inundated” with new guidance, much of it “late in coming and incomplete in nature”.
Sadly, we are left with a picture of incompetent negotiation and preparation, conducted by a dysfunctional Government, which has resulted in loss of livelihood and, in some cases, financial ruin.
From: Gareth Robson, Kent House Road, Beckenham.
ON seeing Bill Carmichael’s column title about the global response to the Covid outbreak in India (The Yorkshire Post, April 30), I immediately suspected it would be another vehicle for a dig at the EU – and my suspicion was well founded.
The only benefit of Brexit would have been the ending of the habit of blaming the EU for our national failings – but even this potential benefit has failed to be delivered.
I think Bill is erroneous in suggesting that the EU has withheld vaccine exports whilst the UK has sent them far and wide.
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