Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has reacted to the announcement of a £23M compensation scheme for seafood exporters facing losses due to trade disruption with the EU, saying it was the “bare minimum” the Government could do. Mr Carmichael noted concerns about the lack of detail on the measures, amid fears that the Government would limit claims and seek to invalidate many applications for support.
Mr Carmichael said:
“The money is welcome but no one should be in any doubt that this is an admission of failure by the Government. Compensation is the bare minimum seafood exporters should expect after the shambles they created with Boris Johnson’s weak deal with the EU.
“Businesses will be particularly concerned to know the eligibility criteria for claims. I have already heard from companies that fear that the barrier to compensation will be set so high as to make it impossible to claim. Exporters are already buried in Tory red tape – the Government should not add to that pile.
“It is especially troubling to see that there is already a cap on claims for individual operators of £100,000. One business in my constituency lost half that on a single consignment so the Government needs to be realistic about these losses and how they can be made good.
“It is far from clear that we are over the worst for fish exporters. Once that is sorted the Government must explain to fishermen how they intend to make up for the broken promises that they made to the industry.”