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UK Fishing Waters

Volume 637: debated on Thursday 15 March 2018

18. What discussions he has had with the Secretaries of State for Defence and for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on protecting UK fishing waters from non-UK trawlers in the event of there being no UK-EU trade agreement in place when the UK leaves the common fisheries policy. (904397)

We have been working closely with our colleagues. In England, the Marine Management Organisation is working with the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy, as well as the Border Force, the inshore fisheries and conservation authorities and other organisations to deliver fisheries protection and regulation, irrespective of whether an agreement has been reached when we leave the common fisheries policy.

Remainers and leavers are united in the opinion that the very worst aspect of our EU membership is the common fisheries policy. When we leave the European Union, we leave the common fisheries policy. On that day, the armada of EU trawlers that have been plundering Britain’s historic fishing grounds since 1973 are not going to be happy that their best years are behind them. Will the Minister ensure that the Royal Navy has the resources it needs to protect our sovereign waters and ensure the rebirth and renaissance of the British fishing industry?

My hon. Friend makes a serious point, with his usual force. We hope to reach an agreement in our mutual interests but, as the Prime Minister made clear in her Mansion House speech, we are leaving the common fisheries policy, and the UK will regain control over our domestic fisheries management rules and access to our waters. On enforcement, we will strengthen our surveillance capability and make sure that the appropriate capacity is in place to patrol our waters and enforce regulations, as required. This will be underpinned by a robust approach to risk-based assessments.