A SOUTH Lakes MP has demanded compensation for local fishermen after it was announced they had been banned from exporting shellfish to the European Union.

In the House of Commons last night, MP Tim Farron called on the Government to compensate fishermen in Flookburgh, who are now unable to export shellfish to the EU.

The EU has said that shellfish must be treated in purification tanks prior to being exported, only catches from 'class A' waters may be transported from the UK to the EU without purification beforehand, however most of Britain's waters are 'class B'.

Speaking during an Urgent Question in Parliament, Mr Farron said: “Families in Flookburgh in my constituency have fished on the sands for centuries.

“In recent generations, they have built a market that means the majority of their catch is sold in France.

“The Government’s failure to secure export rights for Flookburgh fishermen is a negligent betrayal of my communities.

“My constituents do not care whose fault it is and are not impressed with the Secretary of State’s buck passing while their livelihoods are destroyed.

“Will he be clear about what he will do to compensate my constituents and restore their access to live shellfish markets, as they had been promised?”

Responding, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice said: “The UK Government, the honourable gentleman’s constituents and other bivalve mollusc producers around the country were all promised by the European Commission that this trade could continue.

“We are all greatly disappointed by the about-turn by the European Union, which made the change just last week.

“I have written to the Commissioner setting out why that approach is wrong in law.

“We will be progressing those technical discussions, so that this trade can resume, since there is no justification - neither animal health nor plant health - for such a ban to be put in place.”