A convoy of over 50 shellfish haulage trucks descended on Downing Street today (18 January) to protest against the bureaucracy created by the Brexit trade agreement which is creating major delays of shellfish exports to Europe and threatening the existence of affected companies.

The convoy of lorries came from across the UK, from companies including the Dartford Fish Company, Venture Seafoods, AM Miller and DR Collin and son.

Some trucks carried banners declaring 'Shellfish Carnage' and 'Incompetent government destroying shellfish industry'.

Drivers had their details taken by police.

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Mark Moore, purchaser at the Dartmouth Crab Company, which sent three trucks to Downing Street today told the trucks are now dispersing: “We went there to raise awareness and to make a statement. These are companies from across the country – from as far as from the North of Scotland, from Cornwall and from the West of Wales.”

He said the government had failed to protect British businesses by agreeing to red tape which won’t be imposed by Britain on EU companies until June this year.

“If European suppliers to Britain had to face this level of bureaucracy from 1 January, as we’ve had to, there’d soon be a change in the rules. So it’s down to our government negotiating a bad deal. It is a disaster. Our side are too soft and too naive. They do not understand business.”

He added: “We face an additional cost of £200 per consignment – it was higher but we have managed to get that reduced since 1 January but it is still a huge cost to us when it was zero cost in December. We send out 40 to 50 consignments a week.”

“We have had some dialogue with Defra but some things in the agreement cannot be changed and some businesses' livelihoods are threatened. It will be a case of the survival of the fittest.”