New Clause 8 - Agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities

Part of Fisheries Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 6:19 pm on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 6:19 pm, 13th October 2020

I will, if I may, come to that very shortly. It is an important point and one that I personally am very interested in, having been on the Select Committee on Justice and written a report on that very subject.

The most substantive changes in the amendments cover provisions that make clear the ability of the devolved Administrations and the Marine Management Organisation to delegate functions between each other, the extension of schedule 10 marine conservation powers to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and amendments to Northern Irish and Scottish statutory instruments to bring them in line with UK and Welsh SIs under schedule 2. The final amendments are needed to implement the international treaty with the Faroe islands.

Government amendment 36 includes a permissive extent clause that will allow the UK Government to legislate for the Crown dependencies to ensure compliance with our international obligations. That follows a great deal of discussion with the Crown dependencies and I recognise that they take their international obligations seriously. This is a subject I personally have long been very interested in and I have discussed the matter with the Lord Chancellor and my hon. Friend Sir Robert Neill, as well as other Members across the House.

I reassure Members and, indeed, the Crown dependencies, that activation of the permissive extent clause would only ever be used as a last resort and I am looking forward to continuing discussions with the Crown dependencies on that in the next few days and weeks.