THE ban on the importation of UK shellfish into the EU is due to an 'abrupt' change in the position of the European Commission and needs 'resolving as soon possible', the MP for Falmouth and Truro has said.

Cherilyn Mackrory MP says she shares the disappointment of the oyster men and shell fish fisherman in Truro and Falmouth who face losing their livelihoods because of a ban on importing live bi-valves from the UK into the EU.

Mrs Mackrory told the Packet: “This issue has arisen purely because of a change in position of the European Commission who said one thing, when we were negotiating the UK-EU Trade Deal, but then abruptly changed stance last week and said they have banned the importing of live bi-valves from the UK,”

“This is very disappointing and I share the disappointment of the oystermen and shell fish fishermen in Truro and Falmouth who have contacted me about this. I am in regular contact with local fishermen and exporters and I have put some in direct contact with DEFRA officials so they can hear about these issues direct.”

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The shellfish industry across the country has been told by the EU that because the UK is now not in the union, all shellfish will have to go through a purification process it did not have to adhere to before Brexit.

Defra had been telling UK shellfish businesses that the EU ban would only last until April 21, when the EU is set to implement new animal health regulations, and did not affect farmed shellfish.

Martin Laity director of Sailor's Creek Shellfish in Flushing told the Packet the news sounds the death knell for his business and the 52 fishermen and women he had to lay off over at the beginning of the year because of Brexit.

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Mrs Mackrory says the Government is working round the clock to try and reverse the decision by the EU and make sure the voices of the fishermen are heard: “Last week I wrote to the Secretary of State for the Environment and my neighbouring MP George Eustice to say that this is a situation that needs resolving as soon as possible.”

“Yesterday (Monday 8 February) I stood up in Parliament, along with all of the other Cornish MP’s who were able to speak, to continue to make these representations, as well as ensuring that the voices of small boats like we have on the Fal are listened to and compensated, along with the big exporters.”

“The Government has already committed a £100million fund to ensure our fishing fleets are supported through the extended Brexit transition period, and I was pleased to see a £23million fund to compensate shellfish exporters come forward as well as this.”

“I know the Secretary of State is working around the clock to get the EU to back down and I will continue to do all I can to ensure the voices of our fishermen are listened to, and this industry protected.”