Non-EEA Visas: Inshore Fishing — [Mr Clive Betts in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:06 am on 17th July 2018.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health) 10:06 am, 17th July 2018

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. It is that simple. If we have a willingness to do it, let us just do it. We do it for the right reasons—not just because it feels good but because it helps the industry, as those of us who represent fishing villages know. My local fishermen cannot speak highly enough of the ability and work ethic of those from the Philippines, and yet they have been prevented from utilising people who, while they may not be highly skilled on paper with degrees and letters after their name, undoubtedly have the ability and fitness for purpose that is needed.

I often quote my mother in this House. I do so because she is a very wise woman, not because she is my mother and I am her son. She is very wise. My mum often says, “Letters after your name don’t mean anything to someone whose house is flooded and needs a plumber.” Letters do not mean anything in that trade; experience and know-how do. Fishing is the same. Degrees will not be able to read the sea or the sky, but experience will. A degree does not tell someone how to catch fish, to follow fish on a boat or to stand without falling over. This is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and we need the people to do it.