We have heard so much about red lines since 2016, but those red lines might now be considered red herrings. I have read the documents issued this morning. Given the commitment to
“continue to work with our European partners to regulate fishing and to set harvest rates”,
will the fleets still be subject to the CFP, but without a Minister at the table when decisions are being agreed? Given that maximum sustainable yield has been established and the Secretary of State has already made it clear to the Danish fleet that it and all others will still be welcome to fish in UK waters, will our fleets continue to be subject to the same quotas as they currently are?
Given that the UK Government
“will consider whether and how to replace” the European maritime and fisheries fund, is there a possibility that the fleets will receive reduced funding, or that funding might be redistributed on an uneven footing to suit a Government’s political ends? Is there even a possibility that the fleets will no longer receive funding at all? I note the point about the World Trade Organisation wanting to see an end to fisheries subsidies, but wonder whether raw, unfettered competition is really best for Scotland’s fishing fleet.
On partnership working, the Government say that frameworks will “not normally” be changed without the devolved Administrations’ consent. That “not normally” bothers me. May we have a guarantee that frameworks will not be put in place without the explicit agreement of the Scottish Government? Welsh and Northern Irish Members will no doubt press a similar case. May we also have a guarantee that no future changes will be made without unanimity—that no Administration will be overruled?
Finally, before Mr Speaker’s eyes turn disapprovingly upon me, I note the establishment of an English marine management reserve; will that have Barnett consequentials?