Amendment 77A

Part of Fisheries Bill [HL] - Committee (3rd Day) – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 9th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Teverson Lord Teverson Chair, EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, Chair, EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee 3:30 pm, 9th March 2020

My Lords, we come now to one of the most important groups of amendments. I was interested in the reply given by the noble Lord, Lord Goldsmith, to the fourth Oral Question earlier, which was about what the Government are doing to make this country an environmental leader. He went through a number of Bills which are going through at the moment, including the Agriculture Bill and the Environment Bill, before mentioning the Fisheries Bill. He is right on the first two. Under the Agriculture Bill, there is ELMS, a very radical policy to ensure that farmers who are paid a subsidy produce public goods. A lot of those are going to be focused on the environment. As the noble Viscount, Lord Ridley, said, as part of the Environment Bill we have net gain and nature recovery networks, both of which I applaud. They will add greatly to the environmental growth of the United Kingdom.

What does the Fisheries Bill do to enhance the UK’s environment? The withdrawal Act gave us control over the EEZ, but all the Fisheries Bill does is change one set of administrators to another, replacing a lot of objectives in the common fisheries policy with similar ones. There is nothing in this Bill that enhances the marine environment. I cannot think of anything in it, as it stands, that does that.