UK Fishing Industry — [Sir Henry Bellingham in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:37 am on 12th December 2018.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water) 10:37 am, 12th December 2018

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that point. I think it is best to create a dispute resolution mechanism before there is a dispute. We should have such a principle in the Fisheries Bill and I hope the Minister will reflect on that as the Bill progresses through its various stages.

Big promises were made to fishing by the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove—a key Brexiteer—during the referendum,. They have not been matched by delivery. There is an inherent risk behind many speeches from hon. Members here: the fear is that fishing will be further betrayed in the withdrawal agreement and what follows after. We only have to look at the promises made by Ministers, right up until they U-turned, on removing fishing from the transition period, to find good evidence on why fishing has every right to be concerned about the promises it is receiving at the moment.

I fear that decisions above the Fishing Minister’s pay grade will betray fishing further as the negotiation continues. I wish him the best of luck in steeling the nerve of those people further up the Government food chain, to make sure that fishing is not further betrayed. Labour has tabled a significant number of amendments to the Fisheries Bill to make real the promises from the leave campaign and seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start afresh and create truly world-class, sustainable fisheries, following our exit from the CFP.

I turn briefly to the issue of quota, which a number of hon. Members have mentioned, including my hon. Friend Melanie Onn, Jim Shannon. Under the existing system, ownership of quota has become increasingly consolidated in the hands of a few.