Distribution of fishing opportunities

Part of Fisheries Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 13th December 2018.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:45 pm, 13th December 2018

My understanding is that the Labour Administration in Wales asked for it to be taken out. They no longer wished to be included in this clause. Clearly, hon. Members can ask a legitimate question: does that mean that no other part of the UK intends to abide by article 17 and are content to leave it inoperable; do they intend to address it in a different way; or have they not yet considered it, but might like us to add them to the list in subsection (6) at a later stage of the Bill’s passage? I will undertake further conversations with the devolved Administrations between now and Report to understand their intentions.

I hope hon. Members will understand that we respect the devolution settlement. Without the permission of the devolved Administrations, it is not proper for us to accept this amendment, since it is a devolved matter, but it is certainly an issue where we could have further conversations with the devolved Administrations ahead of Report.