I beg to move,
That this House
has considered the UK fishing industry.
I felt it was important to hold this debate in the run-up to the last Fisheries Council that the Minister, my hon. Friend George Eustice, will attend and have a voice in. We have heard lots of debates in this place about what will happen to fisheries policy once we leave the European Union in March 2019. As is normal, we should have a debate about what the Fisheries Council will decide this year.
Before I move on to the Fisheries Council, I would like to set the record straight. We have heard many people in recent times quote the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, implying that it welcomes the deal that is on the table. I want to quote the federation’s chief executive, Bertie Armstrong:
“We have made it very clear since the referendum in 2016 that anything other than full, unfettered sovereignty over our own waters would be crossing a red line for the fishing industry.
Despite the stated wishes of French president Emmanuel Macron, which we know are shared by the other large fishing nations, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany, we should give a clear and resounding ‘Non!’ to the idea of guaranteeing continued access.
Access and quotas must be negotiated…not carved up in advance.”
I do not think those words describe some of the things we have heard attributed to Bertie Armstrong in the main Chamber in recent times, and I wanted to set the record straight.