UK-Faroese Fishing Grounds

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at on 28 April 2022.

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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)

What recent discussions he has had with his Faroese counterpart on access for Russian fishing vessels to shared UK-Faroese fishing grounds.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We do not have jurisdiction over the fishing activities of vessels operating in the special area under a licence issued by the Faroes. However, we have urged the Faroese Fisheries Minister, Foreign Minister and Prime Minister to stop Russian vessels fishing there.

Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

As it happens, I had my own opportunity to make exactly these representations to the Faroese Prime Minister yesterday and I am sure that, like the Minister, I was able to welcome the undertaking that the Faroese will look at not continuing this arrangement when it expires at the end of the year. However, does she agree that, as I said to the Faroese Prime Minister yesterday, the war in Ukraine is happening in the here and now and, while the Faroese have a good and profitable record of playing both sides against the middle, this is one occasion where they really need to pick a side?

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I could not agree more, and I hear that that was very much the tone of the useful meeting the all-party group on fisheries had with the Faroese Prime Minister yesterday. I assure the right hon. Gentleman that Government Ministers have also made that message loud and clear at all levels.