Scottish fishermen have taken aim at the UK Government over Brexit export issues which have seen them frozen out of traditional EU markets.
A fleet of lorries from across the West Coast and beyond has headed south of the border to protest outside Downing Street over fears they may be driven out of business.
New export rules brought about by Brexit have sparked long delays at the border, causing severe problems for fishermen, whose catch has to be transported at speed.
Shellfish exporters have been hit particularly hard, and have threatened to dump rotten fish outside No 10 unless the situation improves.
Some producers have been futhered angered by flippant remarks from the Uk Government, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg claimning fish were happer to be caught after Brexit ‘because they were now British’.
Alasdair Hughson, Chairman of the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation, said: “After the year that all of these businesses have had, struggling to survive against the odds, now faced with this situation – To now find themselves being blamed for not completing forms correctly when they are all just trying to follow Government guidelines which are unclear and changing all of the time.
“Hearing a wealthy and privileged Tory Minister making frivolous comments in the Parliament in some ridiculous attempt at playground humour, the last straw for many we think.
“If this debacle does not improve very soon we are looking at many established businesses coming to the end of the line.”
The convoy departed this morning
He warned that the issues facing his business could have far-reaching consequences for local communties which rely on the work fishing brings.
Mr Hughson said: “With the knock on effects for all who depend on them, including the hundreds of small Fishing businesses in extremely fragile communities around our Coasts who rely on these trucks to turn up day after day, week after week to get their catch to Market.
“From seabed to plate this is not an easy business. People put their heart and soul into making it work, with ridiculously long hours.
“The blood sweat and tears poured into their operations. What else can they do but fight to make their voices heard.”
He added: “We need Government and Civil Service to step up to the plate like never before and do whatever they can to help this industry survive and get through this so that we can all benefit when things improve.
“All we want to do is roll up our sleeves and get to work supporting our communities.
“We don’t have all the answers but they are out there and we need to find them.”