New Clause 8 - Agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities

Part of Fisheries Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 7:15 pm on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 7:15 pm, 13th October 2020

I rise to speak to new clauses 11 and 12, standing in my name. It is a great pleasure to follow Mrs Murray. I listened very carefully to her remarks, as I always do on matters related to the fishing industry, and I absolutely understand her background and family history, which has brought her to a very close interest in fishing safety over the years. I am grateful to her—enormously grateful to her—for accepting that I am well intentioned. I would hope, as I am a vice-chair of the all-party group on fisheries, of which she is the chair, that she would have expected nothing less.

I am afraid I was not entirely persuaded by the hon. Lady’s reasoning, however, and on this occasion I will stick with the views of the representatives of the fishing industry, who say that amendments such as new clauses 11 and 12 are necessary. I say to the Minister, who has obviously been told that they are probing amendments, that they are no such thing. Unless I am able to hear any reason or persuasive arguments as to why I should not push them to a vote, then with your agreement, Madam Deputy Speaker, I will certainly seek to test the views of the House on new clause 12 at least.

The hon. Lady’s proposition was an interesting one. She said that we should rely on the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and also on the licensing provisions. I am actually a great fan of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act. It is legislative poetry. A whole body of case law and regulations have been born and grown up out of it, of which I am not always a great admirer, but the Act itself is very simple.