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Amendment 52

Part of Fisheries Bill [HL] - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green 6:00 pm, 24th June 2020

My Lords, it is a pleasure to follow the previous three noble Lords. They, and I, demonstrate that support for this amendment comes from all over the House.

It is an incredibly annoying amendment for the Government; I understand that, but it is sensible and the right thing to do. The Government, however, seem absolutely unable to accept any amendments that they have not thought of first. I realise that the Minister is very emollient and tries hard to be helpful. The fact is, however, that the Government must understand that they are not very good at writing legislation at the moment. This is one of the amendments that has to be accepted.

This is another time when I shall be incredibly annoying, because I am going to quote the Government’s own manifesto, which they delivered to us only six months ago, to them. On page five, they say that Brexit will allow us to

“raise standards in areas like workers’ rights, animal welfare, agriculture and the environment.”

This amendment will raise those standards drastically. Page 54 says:

“We have a long tradition of protecting animals in this country, often many years before others follow. Under a Conservative Government, that will continue”.

I really hope it does, and I hope the Government will accept this amendment. By rejecting it, the Government will ensure that we continue to fall behind other countries. Australia, for example, found that reporting improved massively after CCTV was installed on a fishing fleet, and that interactions with sea birds and mammals were reported seven times more often when the cameras were there keeping an eye on things.

This amendment will help to save the lives of many marine creatures, such as dolphins and porpoises. It will spur a cultural change in the fishing industry and help to protect our oceans. I look forward to the amendment being pushed to a vote, so that your Lordships’ House can show the strength of feeling on this and reflect the huge public support for improving animal welfare.