EU told ‘they must abide by own rules’ in brutal attack against UK shellfish ban

Brexit: George Eustice questions change in EU regulations

Mr Eustice’s appearance on the BBC Today programme came as the chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries claimed the EU’s ban on shellfish from the UK could be solely attributed to Brexit. The Environment Secretary has promised to get tough with Europe as the shellfish ban was believed to only be a temporary solution. The European Commission has closed the doors to shellfish from the UK as many are caught in Class B waters whereas the bloc only accepts them from Class A waters.

Asked by Today host Justin Webb what progress had been made towards a deal, Mr Eustice replied: “We wrote to the Commissioner yesterday, we have been in dialogue with them.

“The truth is that there is no legal barrier to this trade continuing both on animal health grounds and on public health grounds.

“There are legal provisions within existing EU regulation to allow such trade to continue from the UK.

“We are just asking the EU to abide by their existing regulations and not to seek to change them.”

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Speaking earlier on the Today programme, MEP Pierre Kareskind discussed the move from the EU and was asked who was to blame.

He said: “Well, this mess has a clear name, Brexit, this is the only (thing) responsible for that. 

“Protecting the European consumer is the duty of the European Commission so there is really nothing new in that area.

“You have to understand that importing living animals is really sensitive for any country.”

Brexit ‘solely responsible’ for fishing issues says Karleskind

Mr Webb then asked: “But what George Eustice, the minister, was telling Parliament that the Commission changed its position that it actually was going to allow imports to continue and has only decided now not to?”

The committee chairman replied: “Well, I don’t know if the Commission has changed its position, what I know is that I must say that I am ready to work with Mr Eustice in the same way.

“Because as a member of the European Parliament, (an issue) has been raised by an oyster producer which also happens to be a shellfish retailer (who imports) mussels and clams from the UK. 

“And as chair of the fishery committee, I wrote on January 5, unlike Mr Eustice who did that yesterday, to the European Commission to ask to review this regulation. 


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“I don’t know if what Mr Eustice is saying is right or not, the fact is that I am your best ally in this question.”

Mr Karleskind added: “Well, honestly, I hope we can find a solution because I really enjoy your lobster, your clams so I have no problem with the fact we have to find this solution.”

The UK has been banned from exporting shellfish to the EU as many are caught in Class B waters. 

Shellfish from these waters can only be exported into the EU from a third country if they have been treated in purification pools, equipment many fisheries can not afford.

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