This Bill marks a really important step forward as we leave the inflexibilities of the common fisheries policy. It puts in place the framework necessary for the UK to operate as a responsible, independent coastal state. It allows us to ensure that we have sustainable fisheries to provide benefits for future generations.
The Bill’s fisheries objectives place sustainability front and centre. Six out of the eight objectives relate to protecting the environment. It is critical that we are able to balance those objectives as we need to. Additional quota we receive following the negotiations will be allocated in a new way, and I am pleased that two consultations on quota distribution were published today. That makes good our commitment in the 2018 White Paper, of which my Secretary of State is particularly proud, having put a lot of work into it himself.
This Bill is the product of collaborative and constructive working across all four Administrations of our nation and I am pleased that all the devolved legislatures have consented to the Bill. It was, unfortunately, however, important to wait until we had that consent before we brought forward further amendments on their behalf and that is why I am slightly embarrassed to say that the Order Paper is full of very technical Government amendments. Many are amendments that the devolved Administrations could have made themselves, but given the pressures on all the parliamentary timetables in the run-up to the end of the transition period, we felt that in a spirit of co-operation we should, if possible, make these changes for them.