Fisheries Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:43 pm on 21st November 2018.

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Photo of Melanie Onn Melanie Onn Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Housing) 5:43 pm, 21st November 2018

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. My hon. Friend makes precisely the point that has been raised with me: leaving future rules under which boats may fish to the whims of what is, in effect, a gentlemen’s agreement does not provide any assurance or security to the east coast industry. There is a sense of history repeating itself, as the same industry feels that the fisheries concordat has also not served it well and that those who make the decisions have not fully heard the concerns raised by this section of the fishing industry. As an MOU may be withdrawn from, there is also the issue of the proposed joint fisheries statements to address. The Bill would allow for a devolved Administration to walk away simply by stating their reasons. There really must be a dispute resolution mechanism; allowing for a collective statement to fall simply due to a lack of administrative preparations seems short-sighted at best, but it would also render such a statement useless.