New Clause 8 - Agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities

Part of Fisheries Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Dave Doogan Dave Doogan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Agriculture and Rural Affairs) 8:00 pm, 13th October 2020

I am happy that the hon. Member for Moray is so quick to tell me what SNP policy is. Perhaps he will yield to my knowledge of such matters. I think I am probably on fairly solid ground as an SNP politician in saying what our policy is. I will be taking no lectures from a Conservative politician on how to access the EU in the interests of fishing. We have seen how badly it was done by the Conservatives in the early 1970s. We will not be making any similar mistakes with Scotland’s reaccession to the EU after independence, but I do not want to fall foul of Madam Deputy Speaker.

Home landings have their limits, such as with the pelagic catch, which can be so vast and so rapid as to overwhelm the local capacity to process, and there can be no argument with that reality. However, the principle of shared benefit remains intact if domestic capacity is by default exhausted first. I am confident that my colleagues in the Scottish Government are sighted on the national landings priority. The best interests of our Scottish fleet in coastal communities will be served by that devolved Administration, but we should in all four nations work in support of this ambition as maritime neighbours, where we remain subject to the same jurisdiction.

In general, there are substantial opportunities for fishing in the new reality that our fleets face and for our coastal communities, and I look forward to witnessing that renewal, although in closing I remind Ministers of my concerns over inshore fisheries in Angus and across these isles. I will be supporting the SNP’s new clause 3.