Duty to report on international obligations

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 15th November 2018.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 4:45 pm, 15th November 2018

The hon. Lady makes a legitimate point. That is one example where there is not a requirement within the convention or commitment to publish, but we pick up those obligations through the departmental plans.

The other area that we do not currently have a specific provision for is the United Nations convention on the law of the sea. I can tell the hon. Member for Stroud that the Fisheries Bill commits us in clause 1—I will not go too far down this point, because it is a separate Bill, which we have to look forward to—to a whole set of sustainability objectives and a joint fisheries statement to outline how we will deliver those objectives. The environmental objectives under UNCLOS will be picked up through the provisions in the forthcoming Fisheries Bill.

I hope that I have been able to reassure the hon. Gentleman that we take these conventions seriously, that we already have a multitude of requirements to report through articles within the conventions themselves and, therefore, that the new clause is unnecessary.