Amendment 83

Part of Fisheries Bill [HL] - Committee (3rd Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 9th March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 5:00 pm, 9th March 2020

I apologise to the noble Lord and the noble Baroness that I have no further detail other than to say that I am confident. We have upscaled in the way that we have—constructing vessels and all we are doing is not like turning on and off a tap—and are increasing the number of Royal Navy vessels for this sort of demand. If we were to need additional support because something happened, I am confident that all the resources would be at our disposal.

I do not think we need to discuss a theoretical point, but if in 10, five or three years’ time all is well and we have good negotiations and agreements, the most important thing—the responsibility that all Governments should have—is the safety of UK interests and the safety of people at sea. Obviously, we will need to have all that I have outlined with the assessment that the MMO is constantly reviewing. I imagine that, down the line, there may be an assessment that there is not much of an issue and we are working towards having that capability, but that would be for the future. For now and for the foreseeable future, however, it is precisely why the Navy is upscaling the number of vessels and why we have done what we have by increasing the number on the front line.

I have been handed a note that says that all matters for future enforcement funding will be the subject of the spending review, but we will put in a robust bid, as befits our status as an independent coastal state. I hope I have not offended the Treasury by saying that.

I apologise. I should have addressed that, but in the meantime, I hope I have outlined to the noble Baroness that this is obviously an area of continuing interest and continuing responsibility.