Managing shared stocks

Part of Fisheries Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 pm on 17 December 2018.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland) 9:45, 17 December 2018

It is a pity that the Minister’s appetite for declaratory clauses appears to have been sated by the introduction of new clause 22. I confess that I struggled to follow some of his reasoning. It comes to the point about subsection (6). Essentially, the Minister seems to be saying that we will behave in such a way that it is unnecessary for us to include the provision in the Bill, because those are our international obligations, although we are not expecting anybody else to follow their international obligations in the same way. I confess that I do not understand the logic of that.

However, having said that, the sustainability point remains. We know from experience of the common fisheries policy that, unless there are principles such as sustainability everywhere, Governments and fisheries managers are always very ingenious at finding ways not to follow them.

Given the lateness of the hour and the fact that we will probably want to return to this issue on Report with a broader audience, I am not minded to press for a Division at this stage, so I beg to ask leave to withdraw the new clause.