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European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:48 pm on 9th January 2020.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire 1:48 pm, 9th January 2020

My hon. Friend, who speaks with great knowledge of this subject and represents his constituents so well, has just spoken with total wisdom. It is fundamental that we do not make the mistake of the 1970s, and allow the allocation of fish resources to be a trading card in these negotiations.

We have said that we will take back control, and I am looking at the Secretary of State. We will take back full control, and we will then behave like a normal independent maritime nation. We will have the very best bilateral relations with our neighbours, exactly like Norway and exactly like Iceland, and, on an annual basis, we will have discussions and possibly do reciprocal deals with them. Let me say emphatically that we must not allow fisheries to be snarled up in these negotiations.

I was disappointed yesterday that President von der Leyen—in what I thought was a very interesting speech, much of which I welcomed—talked of a

“partnership that goes well beyond trade”,

and mentioned fisheries. That is unacceptable. As my hon. Friend has just said, it is absolutely essential that we take full, total, sovereign control of the EEZ and all that is within it, and that from then on we negotiate as an independent maritime nation.