Seafish: Government to lead appeal to supreme court

March 24, 2010 10:15

Seafish receives backing of the UK Government against decision from Court of Appeal, reports http://www.megafishnet.com/ with reference to Seafish.       

Seafish, the authority on seafood, today responded to the news that Government will lead an appeal to the UK's Supreme Court following the Court of Appeal's decision to overturn a High Court judgement in Seafish's favour made in late 2009.

The Court of Appeal overturned an earlier judgement by Mr Justice Hamblen in the High Court that Seafish had the legal duty to charge levy on imported sea fish and sea fish products. Seafish Chief Executive John Rutherford said:

"We share the Government's disappointment with the recent Court of Appeal judgement and are pleased that Government has decided to lead an appeal to the Supreme Court in this matter.

With the Government, we remain convinced that imported sea fish and sea fish products were intended by Parliament to be subject to the levy and we applaud government's decision to seek leave to appeal.

In the meanwhile, we are working closely with Government to determine how  we should conduct ourselves while awaiting resolution from the highest court in the land.

We are grateful to all of our Government partners for their continued support in this matter, and also for the many messages of support we have received from all sectors of the seafood industry since the Court of Appeal's decision was announced late last week."

Defra (for all 4 Fisheries Administrations)

"We are disappointed with the recent Court of Appeal judgment. It remains the Government's and the Sea Fish Industry Authority's view that imported sea fish and sea fish products were intended by Parliament to be subject to the levy. Accordingly, we intend to seek leave to appeal the decision.
Our immediate priority is to stabilise Seafish's position and we are actively exploring with them the support they need from Government so that they can continue to operate and meet their legal obligations. We will be working very closely with Seafish to consider the longer term implication for their operations".

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