Fisheries Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:26 pm on 21st November 2018.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2:26 pm, 21st November 2018

I will give the hon. Lady, for whom I have enormous respect and affection, one piece of perhaps unsolicited advice: I find that in the morning it is better not to listen to the “Today” programme; Radio 3, or even Radio 2, ensures that I have a more equable morning. However, she makes a very important point about the transition period. A number of Members of this House hoped that in the transition period, when it was agreed earlier this year, the common fisheries policy would be outside, but there is one very significant departure from the overall transition period, which applies to the common fisheries policy, which is that the European Union acknowledged that from 2021 we will be an independent coastal state. Therefore, when we negotiate in the December 2020 Fisheries Council, although we will still legally be a member of the European Union, we will be negotiating then as an independent coastal state. That is why I said at the time that we need to keep our eyes on the prize of making sure that after that transition period we can have all the opportunities to do the right thing environmentally, economically and socially, as I mentioned earlier.