New Clause 8 - Agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities

Part of Fisheries Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Anthony Mangnall Anthony Mangnall Conservative, Totnes 8:15 pm, 13th October 2020

It is always a pleasure to be asked to speak briefly; brevity is one of my strengths, I am sure.

I have four points to make, and I feel that this may be—for those who were here on Second Reading—something of a rehash of my previous speech, not least because I want to speak against two amendments tabled by the Labour party, notably amendment 1 on UK landings. The Opposition talk about the need for specifying percentages for what our fishermen should be required to land. Rather than restricting where our fishermen can go and where they can land their catch, is not the answer to develop our ports to make them competitive with European ports, so that we can attract not only our own fishermen, but fishermen from Europe to land their catch here? That is a more efficient way of building and sustaining the processing plants across the United Kingdom, and building the ports such Brixham in my constituency. That is what we need to be doing—not restricting where our fishermen go.

My second point is on the sustainability principles and amendment 2. The first page of the Bill talks about the principles of sustainability; it is sustainable at its core. This is a finely tuned balance between the economic values and the sustainable values. The Opposition need to have a little bit of faith in the fishermen who fish our waters, who are determined to look after that stock, and to see their children and grandchildren go into the sector. That really matters.

A point that has been touched on by a number of people is how we develop and encourage our own “buy local” campaign.

I spoke during my maiden speech about the idea that the best of British—that British local seafood—should be on every menu across the country. That remains the case and we have a great opportunity to be able to create that campaign. I hope the Government will look carefully at how we can do that with cross-party support.

Lastly, I am going to sea next year for three days to see what goes on on a trawler vessel. I know that when they look at the Bill and hear us talking about it, they are proud of what the Government are trying to achieve. They are proud of the fact that it takes back control of our coastal waters, and they are proud of the fact that we will no longer be part of the common fisheries policy. I look forward to being able to report what it is like at sea and how the Brixham trawler fishermen operate —and I end my speech there.