Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has welcomed publication of the Fisheries Bill, which took place in the House of Commons on 25th October 2018.

This Bill will set the UK on the path to right the wrong for future generations and build a sustainable fishing industry, with healthy seas and a fair deal for UK fishermen. This is a major step forward in preparations to leave the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which has damaged the UK’s fishing industry and precious fishing stocks.

While the CFP will be retained in UK law to provide immediate stability for the fishing industry, this Bill learns the lessons of the past and creates new schemes to help the English fishing fleet seize the opportunities of Brexit. At its heart, this Bill delivers on the UK government’s commitment to sustainable fishing and marine conservation as set out in the 25-Year Environment Plan by:

  • Controlling access – by ending current automatic rights for EU vessels to fish in UK waters. In future, access to fish in UK waters will be a matter for the UK to negotiate and we will decide on the terms – foreign vessels would have to follow our rules.
  • Setting fishing opportunities – by proposing powers to ensure that the UK can set its own fishing quota and days at sea, which it will negotiate as an independent coastal State. As now, the UK government will consult the Devolved Administrations.

This Bill closely follows the introduction of a new Agriculture Bill, which will lay the groundwork for a British agricultural policy of the future. As a result, the UK will leave behind the Common Agricultural Policy and move towards a bright future for farming, which is one of the chief benefits of Brexit.

Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, said:

“This new Fisheries Bill will allow us to create a sustainable, profitable fishing industry for all of the UK. It will regenerate coastal communities, take back control of our waters and, through better conservation measures, allow our precious marine environment to thrive.

“The Common Fisheries Policy has damaged the UK’s fishing industry and our precious fish stocks. The Bill will deliver a sustainable fishing industry, with healthy seas and a fair deal for UK fishermen.”

Speaking about the Bill, Giles said:

“I am pleased that the Government have brought forward this Bill, we must revive our fishing industry after Brexit. I have no doubt that the measures contained within this Bill will do that, which is good news for coastal area like the Clacton constituency – there will certainly be opportunities for new businesses and industry in our area!”