Britain told to ‘play hardball’ if no u-turn from Brussels over shellfish ban

Brexit: UK ready to play ‘hardball’ over fisheries says Lia Nici

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The Brexiteer MP has dismissed moves by Brussels to restrict the export of British shellfish to Europe as “childish behaviour.” Ms Nici has also looked to remind eurocrats that the UK will not shy away from cutting off EU countries from British markets in retaliation. The European Union has told Britain it is indefinitely banned from selling shellfish to its member states on grounds of “purity.”

Ms Nici told Express.co.uk: “Obviously the Prime Minister and his team are trying to be the adult in the room.

“We seem to have lots of childish behaviour going on with the EU representatives.

“We need to make sure that we have unfettered free trade that is the deal that we got, that is what we should be working towards.

“I find it astonishing, especially with our shellfish producers that before we left the EU and came out of the transition period are products were quite fine to be able to trade and to consumed and suddenly after a specific date the EU is deciding that isn’t good enough anymore.

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“Well frankly it isn’t good enough from the UK’s point of view,” added the MP.

“We will protect our interests and we will protect our businesses.

“Frankly if we have to start playing hardball, we will start playing hardball.

“You know I’m in a fisheries group with other constituency MPs who fisheries is absolutely vital to their local economy.”

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The Brexiteer continued: “We are starting to push to say if the EU and sadly France in particular at the moment are not going to be sensible then there are levers that we can pull to restrict access to our markets.

“Now that is a very silly way to have to go.

“But if we have to do that then we are getting ready to do that.”

Since the UK left the EU Single Market on January 1, fishermen have been unable to sell thousands of live unpurified shellfish caught in the UK’s Class B waters to the continent. 

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Now, industry leaders are calling for the UK to reclassify its waters so some areas of the British coastline will be moved from Class B to Class A.

This would allow unpurified shellfish to be sold once again on the continent.

Most of the UK’s waters are Class B as they have slightly more contaminants than Class A waters.

Since the UK’s Brexit transition period ended on December 31, British firms have been restricted on what they can sell to Europe.

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