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Fishermen

Exiting the European Union – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th October 2018.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West 12:00 am, 25th October 2018

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on support for fishermen after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

We continue to work closely with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on support for fishermen after we leave the European Union. The Fisheries Bill, introduced today, will allow us, for the first time since 1973, to take back control of our waters, set our own fisheries rules and exclusively determine who fishes what in our seas as an independent coastal state. That will ensure a sustainable and profitable fishing industry that will regenerate coastal communities and support future generations of UK fishermen.

Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

Sea fishermen and cocklers are greatly looking forward to our leaving the European Union at 11 o’clock on 29 March 2019, but will my hon. Friend reassure them that their expected increase in living standards will not be damaged by any extension to the transition period?

Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

I fully recognise the importance to fishing communities in Leigh-on-Sea of leaving the common fisheries policy, and my hon. Friend is a strong voice for those communities. We fully expect to negotiate as an independent coastal state in 2020 and, as the Prime Minister set out earlier this week, the interests of UK fishermen are at the forefront of our thinking as we consider the different options that have been proposed. What is clear is that, when EU rules no longer apply, the UK will be making its own decisions. We will control access to our own waters and we will seek to gain a fairer share of quotas.

Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy)

What discussions has the Minister had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and with the Scottish Government about replacing the European maritime and fisheries fund and devolving the equivalent budgets?

Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

All European maritime and fisheries fund projects approved before the UK leaves the EU will be fully funded under the Treasury guarantee, even when those projects are not completed by the UK exit date. Work is under way to consider the long-term future of all the programmes that are currently EU funded. Leaving the EU means that we will want to take our own decisions about how to deliver the policy objectives previously supported by EU funding.

Photo of Peter Aldous Peter Aldous Conservative, Waveney

With the Fisheries Bill being presented later this morning, and with the Lowestoft fishing industry coming forward with exciting plans to regenerate the industry, will the Minister reconfirm that in December 2020 the UK will negotiate fishing opportunities for 2021 as an independent coastal state?

Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

As I said, we fully expect to be negotiating as an independent coastal state in 2020. Any of the options put forward will take account of all that has been agreed in the draft withdrawal agreement. We have clarified that the UK share of quotas will not change during the implementation period and that the UK can attend international negotiations. I am sure my hon. Friend is aware of the structures that have been agreed to ensure that the UK has a representative voice in those negotiations.