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House of Commons Hansard
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08 January 2020
Volume 669
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2. What steps he is taking to support the Scottish fishing industry. [900086]

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This is my first opportunity to say what a privilege it is to have been re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Moray, representing my home area, and to now work in the Scotland Office. May I also wish you a very happy new year, Mr Speaker? As we say in Scotland, lang may yer lum reek.

Leaving the European Union will afford the fishing industry in Scotland, and across the United Kingdom, many opportunities. We will no longer be shackled to the common fisheries policy, and we will control who catches what, where and when in our waters. This Government will work tirelessly to that aim with our fishermen and coastal communities across Scotland.

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I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. It is fantastic to see him in his place and I congratulate him on his new role. Scotland has a proud history of fishing the finest seafood, and the same is true of local fishermen in Selsey in my constituency. There is great concern, however, that the next generation are not entering the industry, and the situation is made more urgent given the growth we expect in UK fishing once we leave the EU. What discussions has my hon. Friend had with colleagues to develop an industry pipeline for future fishermen and women?

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I accept that for many years, the fishing industry has not offered attractive job opportunities for young people in Scotland or across the UK. I strongly believe that when we leave the European Union, there is a bright future for this industry. I hope that that will encourage more people to look to fishing as an area where they can have a successful career. My hon. Friend has been a great champion for the fishing industry in Selsey, and I know that she will continue to promote her constituency and its strong links with the fishing industry during this Parliament.

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When the Minister was a Back Bencher, he understood full well the need for non-European economic area crews to come into Scottish waters, particularly on the west coast. What will he and his Front-Bench colleagues do to make sure that can happen? Or will they demonstrate their powerlessness, ensuring that nothing happens, as has been the case for years?

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To prove what will happen, I encourage the hon. Gentleman to wait for question 8 from the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon), which is about exactly that. I will answer that point then, and I hope that the hon. Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Angus Brendan MacNeil) will be encouraged by the response.