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Nasty Brexit shock for Argyll seafood exporter

Scottish langoustines
Scottish langoustines

An Argyll-based shellfish processor has called post-Brexit export arrangements “an absolute mess” after being unable to export his produce to customers overseas for the first time in nine years.

Jamie McMillan, managing director of Loch Fyne Seafarms and Loch Fyne Langoustines, both based in Tarbert, turned to social media to sound off about his frustrations at not getting his seafood to key markets.

In an angry rant on Twitter, Mr McMillan said today was “not so beautiful” – unlike the weather on Loch Fyne this morning – because of Brexit.

He added: “For the first time in nine years we have been unable to export our products to the EU.

“Argyll and Bute Council is on holiday today because it’s a Bank Holiday. They have not given approval to our transport company in Glasgow that we are on the approved list to send our goods to the EU.

“Considering Argyll and Bute Council comes in and inspects us at least twice a year, I find it remarkable that we are not on the list. I can’t get hold of anybody today.”

Highlighting further issues on the first business day since Brexit, he said: “If we were able to export today, the health certificate that we need to export to the EU – who would provide it?

“Another question I’ve got is nobody has told me the cost of a health certificate to export to the EU either, so we are now on Monday 4th January and unable to export our goods to the EU for the first time in nine years. It’s an absolute mess.

“It’s put us in a very difficult position that we have already been in over the last few months, with the coronavirus and the problems at the border over Christmas. It just keeps getting worse.”

A spokeswoman for Argyll and Bute Council said: “We’ve been in touch with businesses in the run-up to leaving the EU to offer help in preparing to work in these new circumstances.

“As a result, exports from Argyll to the EU are already happening. We’ve also publicised our holiday arrangements in advance, and advised companies about commercial hubs available as an alternative for certificates. We will be happy to help Loch Fyne Seafarms get things moving too.”

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