Thursday, 22 November 2018

Second reading and debate of the Fisheries Bill 2017-19 in Parliament.

The Fisheries Bill - setting out the UK's vision of the future for UK Fishing pre and post-Brexit was given its second reading and debated in a not very well attended House of Commons yesterday.

You can watch/listen to the debate in full in the video above.

Below is a list of contributors to the reading which lasted for two and a half hours. A full transcript from Hansard is available below to read online or download. These files are easily searchable word by word using (Ctrl+F) in any Windows or Command+F on a Mac.

Legislation - Fisheries Bill 2017-19 - 2nd reading

14:26:39 Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Surrey Heath, Conservative)

15:07:47 Sue Hayman MP (Workington, Labour)

15:24:25 Neil Parish MP (Tiverton and Honiton, Conservative)

15:38:15 Deidre Brock MP (Edinburgh North and Leith, Scottish National Party)

15:54:49 Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP (North Shropshire, Conservative)

16:04:28 Angela Smith MP (Penistone and Stocksbridge, Labour)

16:13:59 Mrs Sheryll Murray MP (South East Cornwall, Conservative)

16:24:12 Angus Brendan MacNeil MP (Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scottish National Party)

16:36:47 David Duguid MP (Banff and Buchan, Conservative)

16:44:22 Rt Hon Alan Campbell MP (Tynemouth, Labour)

16:54:03 Scott Mann MP (North Cornwall, Conservative)

17:01:17 Rt Hon Mark Francois MP (Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)

17:02:38 Rt Hon Mark Francois MP (Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)

17:03:07 Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP (Orkney and Shetland, Liberal Democrat)

17:10:27 Mr Charles Walker MP (Broxbourne, Conservative)

17:17:06 Brendan O'Hara MP (Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party)

17:23:11 Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Witham, Conservative)

17:29:19 Ian Paisley MP (North Antrim, Democratic Unionist

17:37:57 Richard Drax MP (South Dorset, Conservative)

17:43:59 Melanie Onn MP (Great Grimsby, Labour)

17:51:21 Peter Aldous MP (Waveney, Conservative)

17:56:21 Liz Saville Roberts MP (Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Plaid Cymru)

18:00:55 Steve Double MP (St Austell and Newquay, Conservative)

18:05:55 Owen Smith MP (Pontypridd, Labour)

18:11:00 Derek Thomas MP (St Ives, Conservative)

18:16:20 Jim Shannon MP (Strangford, Democratic Unionist Party)

18:21:07 Gillian Keegan MP (Chichester, Conservative)

18:26:35 Maria Caulfield MP (Lewes, Conservative)

18:30:36 Douglas Ross MP (Moray, Conservative)

18:43:36 Luke Pollard MP (Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport, Labour (Co-op))

18:51:31 George Eustice MP, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Camborne and Redruth, Conservative)

A full transcript from Hansard is available below to read online or download. These files are easily searchable word by word using (Ctrl+F) in any Windows or Command+F on a Mac.

Local MP for St Ives (in which ward Newlyn exists) Derek Thomas spoke twice during the debate:


Derek Thomas (St Ives) (Con)

"I am glad to follow the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Owen Smith), because he referred to the restrictions of other oceans and other controlled waters, but I can tell him that actually, when a fisherman from Newlyn launches out to sea, they have 200 miles to go before they get into any sort of international waters. At the moment, as we have heard, they are allowed to access only 7% of the cod in those waters, and so it simply makes mathematical sense that if they get more share, they will get more fish.

I welcome the opportunity to speak in this debate. As my hon. Friend the Member for St Austell and Newquay (Steve Double) said, it is a long time since Members—a Member for St Ives, for example—have had the privilege of talking about primary legislation around a UK fisheries Bill. I am grateful to the Secretary of State and the Minister for—certainly in the case of the Minister—their repeated visits to Newlyn. They were both visitors to the largest Cornish fishing community by a considerable measure. I would suggest, although I do not want to upset my hon. Friend the Member for St Austell and Newquay, that the tragedy of discard is that we probably discard more fish from Newlyn fishermen than are caught in Mevagissey. However, that is something we can discuss on another day."

Derek Thomas

"There is great quality fish from Newlyn as well. Actually, that is an important point. The quality of fish caught around the Cornish coast is significant, and it is in demand from Europe. I therefore have no doubt that we will get to the point where Europe will continue to want and buy Cornish fish.

My local fishermen welcome this Bill, broadly because its primary objective is to promote sustainable fisheries management. They know more than anyone that sustainable fisheries management arrangements are the right thing, demonstrating a respect for the oceans and its contents and delivering a future for an essential food source and for skilled employment. They know that the UK, particularly Cornwall, is already a world leader in sustainable fisheries management. Fishermen in Cornwall, through the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation, already work on many fronts to promote conservation initiatives and safe working practice, and to demonstrate their commitment to realising a sustainable future.

It is important to remind the House of the benefits of Brexit to our fishermen. We will be an independent coastal state. We will have control of access to UK waters and ensure that British fishermen get a fair deal and are able to catch more because of a commitment to sustain stocks. We will revive coastal communities. Perhaps the Secretary of State could talk to the Prime Minister, because we are concerned about permanent workers from overseas potentially being excluded through a new immigration policy, which would have a detrimental impact on our fishing sector. It would be great to get clarity on whether people from overseas who work full-time in fishing can keep their jobs. We will also be able to maintain and develop the UK industry’s role as world leaders in sustainable fisheries policy.

The Government must not extend the common fisheries policy beyond 2020 or adopt an interim arrangement allowing the EU to set rules binding UK fisheries in any sort of extended implementation period or backstop. Furthermore, the Secretary of State must confirm today that the Government will not sacrifice the potential of Brexit for the British fishing industry in any way and that they will reject any future proposals from the EU that seek to wrestle away control of access to UK waters. Should the Government back down on their promises, the Bill cannot be delivered, and we will have failed and betrayed our fishing sector.

My fishermen are watching this closely, and they understand the risks of not getting this right. They are paying their mortgages, feeding their families and paying their taxes because of the fishing they do day in, day out, and we should take that seriously when considering their futures.

The Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation has set out three simple asks of the Government. First, it asks the Government to establish a formal advisory council to guide policy, promote collaboration between central Government, devolved Administrations and the industry and allow for ongoing dialogue in a naturally variable industry. It is important that fishermen and fishing experts are sat around the table in that advisory council.

Secondly, the CFPO asks the Secretary of State to ensure a practical approach to sustainable fisheries management. Maximum sustainable yields—a key part of the regime—could fail in the same way that the CFP has failed, so it is important that we look at many other options to secure a good, sustainable fishing industry. Finally, the CFPO asks the Secretary of State to set out a dispute resolution mechanism, so that when things go wrong, they can be properly resolved."

The debate lasted for two and a half hours - a full transcript from Hansard is available below or can be accessed online from here.