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URGENT CALL FOR COMPENSATION FOR SEAFOOD COMPANIES

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Urgent call for compensation for seafood companies 

The Scottish Seafood Association today urged the Government to compensate its members who will lose millions of pounds after France closed its border for 48 hours.

Chief executive Jimmy Buchan said the move was a “disaster” for companies that had already been hard hit by the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in March.

“Not just for the sake of SSA members, but for the millions who enjoy our world-class seafood across Europe, we call upon the French, at the very least, to allow perishable goods to flow.

“These few days in the run up to Christmas is hugely busy for a lot of our members, with seafood destined for all parts of the Continent going via France.

“Traditionally in Spain seafood is a major part of Christmas Eve, and most of our exports get there via the Eurotunnel or Dover-Calais routes, so it is a disaster for our members.

“For example, one relatively small company has £230,000 worth of live shellfish stuck at the border, with a further £250,000 worth ready to go. Another bigger outfit has £500,000 worth at Dover, and an additional £750,000 ready for despatch, all of which are just-in-time exports for the Christmas market.”

Mr Buchan said he was staggered that the French authorities would not let drivers into the country, given that they are not a health risk, and in any case could easily be tested prior to entry.

He is pressing the Government directly for action: “We need urgent Government compensation for the massive losses this ill-timed move by France will cause.”

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