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Fisheries

Scotland – in the House of Commons on 12th February 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire

What steps he is taking to support the Scottish fishing sector.

Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland

Thank you very much. I am busy today, Mr Speaker.

At the end of 2020, we automatically take control of our waters. This opens up a sea of opportunity for our fishing industry in Scotland, and across the UK. As I have said before, this Government will work tirelessly with our fishermen and coastal communities across Scotland.

Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire

Can my hon. Friend confirm that by becoming an independent coastal state once again we will be able to deliver a better deal for fishermen across the United Kingdom, and that ultimately we will control who fishes in our waters?

Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland

I can confirm that we will no longer be bound by the EU’s outdated and unfair method for sharing fishing opportunities. We will set our own fishing quotas, based on science, and decide who can fish in our waters. I have to say that I share my hon. Friend’s optimism for the future of our industry, and it is an optimism that I have heard time and time again from fishermen and fishing communities the length and breadth of Scotland.

Photo of Steven Bonnar Steven Bonnar Shadow SNP Spokesperson (DEFRA Team Member)

Can the Secretary of State reveal whether the UK Government’s stated intention of agreeing a mechanism of co-operation within the EU on fishing will include an extended agreement on access to waters as part of an EU trade deal?

Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland

Clearly we are in discussions about this, but we have a positive vision for our fishing industry in Scotland now that we have left the European Union. How does that reflect on the SNP’s vision for fishing in Scotland, which is to take us back into the European Union, to be shackled once again by the common fisheries policy? That is something that many Scots and many fishermen voted comprehensively to leave, but the SNP wants to put us right back in.