The full update can be found here: https://mailchi.mp/0d65d4139352/defra-update-13032020?e=11597995d6
Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for businesses and employers
In this week's Budget the Chancellor announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses affected by Covid-19.
For the latest information and advice, employers and business owners should visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19
Check the page regularly for updates and subscribe to receive email alerts.
Defra is asking all businesses in the seafood and fisheries sectors to report back any intel on how events might be impacting their businesses.
Please email FishEUExit@defra.gov.uk with any information you would like to share.
Red diesel tax relief
The Chancellor announced in the Budget this week (11 March) that, to help reduce harmful emissions in the fight against climate change and to improve air quality, the government will remove the entitlement to use of red diesel from April 2022, except for fish farming, agriculture, rail and for non-commercial heating.
UK boats on open water (e.g. fishing boats) will remain entitled to the Marine Voyages Relief, which provides 100% relief on fuel duty costs, regardless of whether they use red or white diesel.
Negotiations begin in Brussels
The first round of negotiations took place in Brussels from 2-5 March. The negotiations press release is available on the Number 10 website https://no10media.blog.gov.uk/2020/03/05/statement-on-the-conclusion-of-the-first-round-of-negotiations/
Given the latest COVID-19 developments, EU and UK negotiators have jointly decided not to hold next week’s round of negotiations (18-20 March) in London in the form originally scheduled. Both sides remain fully committed to the negotiations and are currently exploring alternative ways to continue discussions, if possible by the use of video conference.
Consultations with other coastal States such as Norway and Faroes on future fisheries agreements are also underway in parallel to the EU negotiations.
Decapod crustacean sentience evidence review
Last week, Defra published an invitation to tender for an independent external review of the available scientific evidence on sentience in decapod crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters; and in cephalopod molluscs such as octopuses, cuttlefish and squid.