Examination of Witness

Part of Fisheries Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 4th December 2018.

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Dr Appleby:

I think you could. We are straying into an area for which you need explicit legal advice, but I see no reason why not. You are not disappointing somebody. The other thing about doing this sort of thing with this sort of asset is that you cannot target one individual and say that you are going to take their quota off them and off they go. That really is compulsory purchase. When you water down the entire pot, it is much harder for somebody to make a claim, particularly if fish stocks start to come back and the inherent value of the asset has not really changed.

The price of quota pings around like anything, depending on how much fish has been landed that month. It is not a very stably priced asset anyway. Again, if in the Act you use robust wording about this, the first thing the courts will look at is the Act and ask what Parliament has said. It comes back to reasonableness, I think.