Brexit: Ben Habib urges UK to 'pull the plug' on negotiations
After the French government and other EU countries had closed their borders to the UK hauliers blocked from transporting Ivan Lopez, the spokesperson for the European Fisheries Alliance, explained how he saw a no-deal Brexit unfolding. He said: “Endless waiting, kilometre-long queues at the borders, and losses running to millions.
“This is what a no-deal Brexit would look like, and it won’t last only 48 hours.”
He added: “The UK needs to realise all the socio-economic benefits of belonging to the EU and how a possible no-deal could be fatal for them.
“I think the UK has forgotten all that we have achieved within the EU, and this situation should set them thinking.
“Is this what they really want?”
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The Spanish fishing industry spokesperson pointed to the temporary closure of the English Channel as an example of how a no-deal Brexit would complicate trade routes.
Speaking to Undercurrent News, the secretary-general of the Spanish Fisheries Confederation Javier Garat said the situation around the Port of Dover was “chaos and a total nightmare for every party involved”.
Mr Garat added: “It is time for Boris Johnson to realise the huge importance the 450 million consumers in the EU have for the British fishing industry.
“Their mouths are filled with the idea of recovering the sovereignty of their waters.
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“But they don’t speak much about the importance of the great market that the EU offers.”
He added: “See what a 48-hour closure has done and the impact it has had in the British fishing industry.
“It’s time for them to start making decisions.
“First by starting to truly assess the impact of leaving the EU without an agreement.”
Mr Lopez added: “This shouldn’t affect the Spanish industry much.
“There are only a few days left until Christmas Eve and the products that are going to be consumed that night and the day after are already being sold in supermarkets.
“I would be shocked if this were not so.”
It comes as a mass testing programme for lorry drivers will get under way on Wednesday to alleviate congestion at ports after an agreement was reached to reopen the border between France and the UK.
French authorities announced that journeys from the UK will be allowed to resume on Wednesday after the coronavirus ban was lifted, but those seeking to travel must have a negative test result.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed on Tuesday evening that rapid lateral flow tests will be used to test HGV drivers.
The protocol agreed with the French government will be reviewed on December 31 – but could run until January 6, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.
All lorry drivers, irrespective of nationality, will require a lateral flow test, which can provide results in about 30 minutes.
The French government will also carry out sample testing on incoming freight to the UK, the DfT said.
Mr Shapps said: “I am pleased that we have made this important progress with our French counterparts this evening.
“This protocol will see the French border reopen to those travelling for urgent reasons, provided they have a certified negative Covid test.
“We continue to urge hauliers not to travel to Kent until further notice as we work to alleviate congestion at ports.”
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