“(c) the Scottish Ministers,
(d) the Welsh Ministers, and
(e) the Northern Ireland department
The amendment would require that all “national authorities” in fisheries that must abide by the new approach to fishing opportunity distribution includes devolved Administration Ministers as well as the Secretary of State and the Marine Management Organisation.
I should point out that this would not interfere with devolved powers over fisheries. It would, as the CFP does already, simply set the legal mandate for future distribution criteria according to environmental, social and local economic factors. The actual process beyond that of identifying and agreeing the criteria through consultation with experts and the public, plus any administrative approach locally, would be in the hands of the devolved Administrations and not the Westminster Government. I would welcome it if the Minister could clarify the issues and set out what he believes to be the right procedure to deal with them.