Judges clear way for exporters to sue over beef blockades
Upholding a Spanish complaint, the court said the French had failed to protect the single market after French farmers, allegedly grouped in small commando-style units, repeatedly intercepted and destroyed consignments of Spanish strawberries. The ruling leaves it to Spanish victims to seek compensation in the national courts, but leaves little room for doubt that in this case the French are to blame for failing to do enough. "The French Republic has failed to observe the fundamental principle of the free movement of goods and the duty of co-operation which the EC Treaty imposes on the member states," it said.
Britain, which ironically backed the Spanish case, yesterday defended its record in keeping trade flowing despite accusations to the contrary from Irish exporters and hauliers. Lord Simon, the trade and competitiveness minister, said police chiefs were being told to take "all reasonable steps to allow drivers to continue their journeys in peace."
The ruling came as the president of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland, Sandy Mole, stepped down after enduring a barrage of criticism in recent weeks.
Mr Mole was said to have failed to recognise the feelings of farmers throughout the latest crises in the beef industry.
In his resignation letter he said: "My reasons for the decision are that my presidency has become untenable and unsustainable over the past few weeks."
British butchers yesterday appealed to the Government to postpone the ban on beef on the bone until after Christmas. In a letter to the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Jack Cunningham, they warned that if the ban comes into force next week it will devastate sales in the vital festive season.
More than 600 farmers converged on Liverpool's Seaforth Docks last night to try and turn back lorry loads of imported meat. They also blockaded the entrance to Safeway's distribution centre at the Ardwick Industrial Estate in Warrington.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2014: Briton critically injured in San Fermin festival
Elephant 'cries' while being rescued after 50 years of abuse in India
Google executive died on yacht after prostitute gave him fatal dose of heroin, say police
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£55000 - £65000 per annum + excellent package & bonus expectations: Real Staff...
£80000 - £90000 per annum + competitive: Real Staffing: A highly successful Co...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + highly competitive package: Real Staffing: An oppo...
Highly competitive: Real Staffing: VP - Operational Compliance - Global BankA ...