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Fisheries Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 21st November 2018.

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Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Conservative, Moray 6:30 pm, 21st November 2018

It is a pleasure and privilege to speak in this debate. Similarly to when we considered the Agriculture Bill earlier in the Session, this is the first opportunity for this Chamber of the United Kingdom Parliament to debate a future policy—this time for our fishermen and fishing industry. Communities such as Buckie, Cullen, Lossiemouth and Burghead do not have the same number of fishing boats as they once did, but they still have an extremely strong link to the fishing industry and they look at our debates in this Chamber very closely.

I very much support this enabling Bill, which has widespread support throughout the industry. The Ministers and their team have done a good job in bringing it to this stage. We all want to ensure that we have control over our waters and regenerate the coastal communities that have suffered in the past. There is a great deal to welcome in the Bill.

I want to spend a bit of time looking at the utter tosh—that is the only way I can describe it—that we have heard from the Scottish National party during this debate. We heard from Brendan O'Hara, who is not in the Chamber. He took us back to 1972, 11 years before I was even born. Deidre Brock took us back a number of years ago when Alex Salmond was putting forward legislation. The SNP has not mentioned him recently, so it is interesting to hear his name used again. In an intervention, I took the hon. Member for Edinburgh North and Leith back to last year’s general election—the most recent election—to find the most recent credible position of the SNP. The SNP’s position then, on which all their candidates stood for election, was to go back into the common fisheries policy, and she confirmed that in response to my intervention.