Following the Summer Recess, Parliament is back in full flow with the Second Reading of The Fisheries Bill, which took place on Tuesday (1st September). This Bill is one of the key pieces of legislation going through Parliament and will provide the framework for managing the UK’s fisheries as an independent coastal state, enabling the UK to control who comes into its waters through a new foreign vessel licensing regime and ends the current automatic rights for EU vessels to fish in UK waters.
In addition, the Bill establishes UK-wide fisheries objectives and a Joint Fisheries Statement which will set out policies to achieve these objectives. This will provide more transparency for fisheries management policies than was seen under the Common Fisheries Policy.
Unfortunately, every member of the SNP chose to vote against this Bill, whilst Labour MPs all chose to abstain from the vote and some Liberal Democrats voting in favour and some against – on a Bill which will have lasting, significant benefits for the UK, both environmentally and economically, for generations to come.
Mims Davies, the MP for Mid Sussex, had the following to say about the Bill and its current progression:
“It’s been a busy first week back in Westminster! This piece of legislation is going to truly demonstrate the hugely significant economic benefits of our withdrawal from the EU.”
“This Bill highlights this Government’s commitment to sustainability and ensuring healthy seas for future generations of fishermen. It introduces new fisheries management plans which will allow a holistic, sustainable approach to be taken when managing our fisheries and includes new powers to protect the marine environment in England, Wales, and Scotland, as well as powers to implement the technical measures necessary to manage fishing activity in UK waters effectively.”
“As the MP for Mid-Sussex, I believe it is vital to protect our natural environments which make Sussex so special, from the South Downs to the beautiful beaches. I have been corresponding with various Environmental APPGs this year around the matter of protecting the natural beauty of our country and county, including through the Fisheries Bill.”
“A healthy and sustainable fishing industry in the long-term is dependent on a healthy marine environment and the Fisheries Bill creates a robust framework for managing our fisheries sustainably in the future.”