The CEO of a major retail cooperative in France has said that there may be a shortage of fresh fish and seafood in the country this Christmas after a temporary Covid-related ban on travel from the UK to France was put in place on Sunday, December 20.
France has suspended all travel with the UK for 48 hours in a bid to prevent a new variant of coronavirus that is spreading rapidly in the UK from crossing to France.
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Dominique Schelcher, the CEO of retail cooperative Système U which comprises about eight hundred independent hypermarkets and supermarkets around France, has said this could affect supermarket stocks.
“There is a risk of shortages on December 23 and 24 on several products, particularly fish and seafood,” he told BFM TV. “There are live langoustines, scallops, monkfish tails that are stuck in trucks and that we may not have for the holidays.”
Royaume-Uni: le président de Système U Dominique Schelcher (@schelcher) alerte sur "un risque" de pénuries de produits de la mer pour les fêtes pic.twitter.com/1x36QqDV8b— BFMTV (@BFMTV) December 22, 2020
This situation raises broader questions about the consequences of Brexit for seafood products from January 1, Mr Schelcher said.
He stated that for many French fishermen, “fishing in British waters represents up to 75% of their catches”.
He said that everything will depend on rules put in place from January 1.
The UK and the EU are still in the process of negotiating a trade deal. A transition period is in place until December 31, which sees the UK remain a member of the single market and customs union despite it no longer being a member of the EU.
Mr Schelcher said “Without an agreement between London and Brussels, or even with a minimal agreement, there will undoubtedly be questions about the supply of fish and shellfish from the other side of the Channel at the beginning of the year”.
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