Fisheries agreement between the UK and the EU

Fisheries Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:00 pm on 17 December 2018.

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“(1) This section applies if—

(a) the United Kingdom and the EU enter into a withdrawal agreement, and

(b) pursuant to that agreement, the Secretary of State enters into negotiations with the EU, on behalf of the United Kingdom, for an agreement about the management of shared stocks (a ‘fisheries agreement’).

(2) The Secretary of State must pursue the following two objectives when negotiating a fisheries agreement.

(3) The first objective is that the agreement should provide for annual negotiations to determine fishing opportunities.

(4) The second objective is that the agreement should have the effect that Union fishing boats are not granted access to UK waters in any year unless the fishing opportunities for that year that are available for distribution by the United Kingdom are (looked at in the round) greater than those that would have been so available under relative stability.

(5) The reference in subsection (4) to the fishing opportunities for any year that would have been available for distribution by the United Kingdom “under relative stability” is to the fishing opportunities that would, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, have been so available for that year under the common fisheries policy, were the United Kingdom still a member of the EU.

(6) In this section—

‘exclusive economic zone’ has the meaning given by Part 5 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (Cmnd 8941);

“fishing opportunities” means—

(a) the maximum quantities of shared stocks of particular descriptions that may be caught annually in particular areas within UK and Union waters, and

(b) the maximum number of days that fishing boats may spend at sea annually, in particular areas within UK and Union waters, fishing for particular descriptions of shared stocks;

‘shared stocks’ means stocks of sea fish which are found—

(a) in waters within the exclusive economic zone of the United Kingdom, and

(b) in waters within the exclusive economic zone of a member State;

‘UK waters’ means waters within British fishery limits;

‘Union fishing boat’ means a fishing vessel flying the flag of a member State and registered in the EU;

‘Union waters’ has the meaning given by Article 4 of the Common Fisheries Policy Regulation;

‘withdrawal agreement’ means an agreement setting out the arrangements for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU in the terms (or essentially in the terms) endorsed by the meeting of the European Council held on 25 November 2018.”—(George Eustice.)

This new clause would require the Government, when negotiating an agreement with the EU about fisheries, to pursue the objectives that fishing opportunities should be subject to annual negotiation, and that the UK should receive more fishing opportunities than it does under the common fisheries policy.

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 1