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Brexit fisheries bill

Published by FiskerForum, 22-06-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

Among the nine Brexit bills included in the Queen’s speech to both houses of the British Parliament yesterday is a fisheries bill designed to shape the process of taking UK fisheries out of the CFP and into national control.

It has been a turbulent time in British politics since the result of the general election earlier this month cast significant doubt on the government’s hard Brexit course, stripping away the Conservative government’s majority in Parliament. The shape of the government is still uncertain as the horse trading goes on behind the scenes to secure a working majority.

The delayed Queen’s Speech was presented to Parliament despite the government’s lack of a majority.

‘A bill will be introduced to repeal the European Communities Act and provide certainty for individuals and businesses. This will be complemented by legislation to ensure that the United Kingdom makes a success of Brexit, establishing new national policies on immigration, international sanctions, nuclear safeguards, agriculture, and fisheries,’ the Queen stated, reading the speech prepared for her by the government.

There had been some doubt whether or not there would be a fisheries bill, or whether fisheries would be relegated to be dealt with as ‘other business.’

The Bill states that its purpose is:

To ensure UK responsibility for the access to and management of its waters.

To enable the UK to set our own quotas once we have left the EU, which will both help ensure prosperity for a new generation of fishermen as we as preserve and increase fish stocks.

This will help deliver on the manifesto commitments for our coastal communities.

In addition, it is stated that the main elements of the Bill are Powers to enable the UK to exercise responsibility for access to fisheries management of its own waters.

‘Brexit will automatically remove the UK from the Common Fisheries Policy framework, so legislation to ensure that the UK is solely responsible for both access to and management of our waters is very welcome indeed,’ said Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, responding to the detail of the Queen’s Speech.

‘It’s heartening that ministers recognise the importance of fishing to Scotland and foresee prosperity for a new generation of fishermen while assisting the industry to harvest some of the world’s richest fishing grounds in a sustainable manner.’

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