Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has reacted to the opening of the Seafood Disruption Support Scheme by the Government, warning that exporters affected by trading disruption would be “disappointed” by the limitations of the scheme. The Government has come under pressure to compensate seafood businesses after many in the isles and around the UK faced severe losses in January following the UK’s departure from the EU Single Market.
Qualifying businesses affected by disruption are recommended to apply here.
Mr Carmichael said:
“Limited support is better than no support when seafood businesses are suffering and I would encourage all those who have taken losses to submit a claim if they can – and to contact my office if they encounter issues with DEFRA. Even so I suspect that most businesses will be disappointed by the scheme which appears to have many limitations.
“The fact that only a “proportion” of losses incurred will be paid back is concerning, along with the restrictions on the type of businesses that can apply. This feels less like an attempt to make good the harm done to seafood exporters and more like a box-ticking exercise. Until there is a meaningful effort from DEFRA to reset trust and deal with the long-term structural problems they have created, fishermen are going to suspect that they have been fobbed off by a Government that has no more use for them.”