Fisheries Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:07 pm on 21st November 2018.

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Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:07 pm, 21st November 2018

Well, of course, any kind of regeneration needs to cover a number of different areas, but we know that fishing would regenerate many, many coastal communities if we were able to land more fish into British ports and if we were able to change quotas. The Secretary of State has said that we have a huge opportunity here to regenerate our coastal communities through investing in fishing, but, obviously, we must have other funding as well, which is why I mentioned earlier the importance of tourism.

Let me turn now to trade. I understand that around 80% of what we catch, we export, and that 70% of the fish that we eat, we import, yet in the Bill there is no mention of trade, customs or tariffs. Labour’s commitment to membership of a customs union would reassure both processors and catchers that they could invest in their industry safe in the knowledge that they would have tariff-free access to the European markets.

I want to talk briefly about the marine environment. Labour welcomes the language in the Bill about reducing the environmental impacts of fishing, but the Bill provides only a vague future framework and does little to explain exactly what this would look like.