Fisheries Bill [HL]

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(Ping Pong (Hansard): House of Lords)
(Ping Pong (Minutes of Proceedings): House of Lords)
Thursday 12th November 2020

(5 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber

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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Commons Amendments

Motion on Amendment 1

Moved by

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
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That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment 1.

1: Clause 1, page 1, line 12, leave out subsections (2) and (3) and insert—

“(2) The “sustainability objective” is that—

(a) fish and aquaculture activities are—

(i) environmentally sustainable in the long term, and

(ii) managed so as to achieve economic, social and employment benefits and contribute to the availability of food supplies, and

(b) the fishing capacity of fleets is such that fleets are economically viable but do not overexploit marine stocks.”

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Gardiner of Kimble) (Con)
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My Lords, the Government recognise the intent of this House in focusing its attention on environmental sustainability. The Bill recognises the complexity and challenges of fisheries management and sets a framework that ensures that sustained environmental progress goes hand in hand with social and economic considerations. I should highlight some actions that Defra is undertaking that focus on environmental sustainability.

The Marine Management Organisation has issued a call for evidence on fisheries management measures for five marine protected areas to be implemented next year. Industry recognises the importance of sustainability and wants to work in partnership, as shown when it raised concerns about a scallop fishery on the Dogger Bank. Following constructive discussions with all four Administrations, the area was closed to conduct scientific surveys and provide increased protection to the stock in the area. The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations stated that

“without a functioning ecosystem and policies which limit fishing to safe levels, there will be no fishing industry.”

The Cornish Fish Producers Organisation said that,

“it is simply bad business sense to ‘bankrupt’ fish stocks—a healthy marine environment is the cornerstone of the UK’s fishing future.”

We have previously discussed the Bill’s fisheries management plans. They are an important demonstration of the Government’s commitment to improving the marine environment. There are clear obligations for consultation, reporting and review of the plans, providing opportunities to hold the Government to account. We are already working with the shellfish industry advisory group to support its initiative to develop management plans for crabs, lobster and whelks. These valuable stocks currently have little management, so it is right that we prioritise these plans.

I will now address specific elements of Motion 1A. Lawyers advise me that removing “in the long term” would introduce significant uncertainty and hence legal risk to our policy development. Any fisheries management policy or measure could be challenged if there was potential for it to affect environmental sustainability. There are inevitable short-term impacts from development of aquaculture systems or port infrastructure that are managed through the planning and licensing process. The amendment could potentially prevent any further development to support coastal regeneration. We are clear, too, that to ensure long-term sustainability we must make progress in the short term. That is why in my prelude to my remarks on the amendments in the group I set out some of the work currently under way.

Turning to Amendment 1B, the United Kingdom has a well-established vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas. The Marine Strategy Regulations 2010 require the Government and the devolved Administrations to produce a UK marine strategy for our seas to achieve good environmental status. This is a transparent, evidence-based process, drawing in the best available science on the condition of our marine environment. The Bill’s fisheries objectives link to the Marine Strategy Regulations.

Clause 2(1)(c) requires fisheries policy authorities to explain

“how the fisheries objectives have been interpreted and proportionately applied in formulating the policies and proposals”

as part of the joint fisheries statement. This explanation will, of course, rely on scientific evidence. The statement will include an explanation of how the fisheries policy authorities have sought to balance the individual components of the fisheries objectives, including the three elements of the sustainability objective, and the reasons for the fisheries policy authorities believing that the approach outlined in the statement represents the most appropriate way of meeting the sustainability objective, alongside the other objectives. I should also say that six of the eight objectives are environmentally focused, all of which will help deliver sustainable fisheries.

The joint fisheries statement will be subject to public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny, report its progress every three years and be reviewed at least every six years. This means that the statement on the proportionate application of fisheries objectives will be reviewed at these points too, with the necessary public consultation and scrutiny. This provides future accountability beyond this Government. Future policy development will be a collaborative and transparent process. Fisheries management plans will also be subject to public consultation. I hope that noble Lords, and particularly my noble friend Lord Randall of Uxbridge and the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, will accept that I absolutely understand what they seek to achieve. We all share the overriding objective of a vibrant marine environment.

Amendments 3 and 4 deal with the removal of the national landing requirement clause and the quota for new entrants and the under-10s respectively. The Government recognise the strength of feeling across both Houses in ensuring that the UK benefits from fish caught in its waters, and that quota is distributed fairly. Last month, consultations were launched on both matters. The economic link and quota allocation to industry are devolved matters, and while the Government engage with their devolved counterparts on policy across the UK, I will necessarily focus on what we are doing in England at this point.

The key features of our proposals in our consultation on strengthening the economic link are to set a landing requirement of at least 70%, and for vessel owners to make up any shortfall in reaching that percentage of landings through quota donations. Quota donations are part of the existing economic link and they benefit the inshore fleet. This strikes a good balance where higher levels of landings will benefit UK ports and the wider economy, while ensuring that in most cases businesses can continue to operate using existing models.

The Government also consulted on future quota allocation and management in England in October. We sought views on whether a reserve of quota for new entrants should be established and how this could work. We will be working with industry in 2021 and beyond to develop jointly and implement solutions to this important issue.

Lack of quota is not the only challenge holding back new entrants into this industry. The Government are also working with Seafish and a range of training partners to offer apprenticeships across the UK on a range of subjects.

The consultation also sought views on how we should fairly allocate additional quota between sector and non-sector pools. The non-sector pools include under-10-metre vessels. The consultation sought broader views on quota management in future, and it sought expressions of interest for piloting community quota management schemes. Defra officials had a number of constructive and positive conversations with various members of the under-10-metre fleet about these initiatives.

Amendment 14 removed Clause 48 on remote electronic monitoring in UK waters, and Amendments 14A and 14B would reinstate that clause, made specific to English waters and vessels. I recognise the importance that your Lordships, and particularly the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, place on the benefits that REM can deliver and the need to make progress in expanding its use. I also welcome his helpful submission of evidence on behalf of the EU Environment Sub-Committee.

Monitoring and enforcement is devolved and the noble Lord’s amendments recognise this, but the fact that the previous clause removed by the Commons overstepped devolution was not our only concern, as has been made clear in both Houses. The noble Lord’s amendments would restrict us to specific management measures on a particular timescale. Existing powers in the Bill will allow us to implement REM, but with the flexibility to develop tailored management approaches. Our view it that a one-size-fits-all approach would be a return to the inflexibility of the common fisheries policy.

REM has benefits. Existing studies have shown that it can be an effective enforcement tool, but we agree that it can be used to build a better scientific evidence base as well. The Government also agree with those who have successfully rolled out remote electronic monitoring elsewhere that it is much better to do it with the industry, rather than to the industry.

That is why, on 19 October, Defra launched a call for evidence on expanding the use of remote electronic monitoring in English waters. This action has been welcomed by many environmental groups, including the Marine Conservation Society. The discussions on the call for evidence have shown a wide range of views. The evidence we gather will help us design the detailed options for expanding REM in the right way. In the first half of next year, we aim to have launched a consultation on these detailed options for rolling out increased use of REM. Defra will also work closely with all nations of the United Kingdom to develop a coherent approach to REM, while fully respecting the devolution settlements.

I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, who I know wants to make progress on this—we all do—will accept the Government’s intentions and current work. This is about how we take this matter forward.

The Government have made clear commitments to exploring issues raised in your Lordships’ House with industry and other stakeholders through consultations and calls for evidence. Defra is already taking important action to improve the marine environment, which I very much hope noble Lords will welcome. With those remarks, I beg to move.

Motion 1A (as an amendment to Amendment 1)

Moved by

Lord Randall of Uxbridge Portrait Lord Randall of Uxbridge
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In subsection (2)(a)(i) leave out “in the long term”.

Lord Randall of Uxbridge Portrait Lord Randall of Uxbridge (Con) [V]
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My Lords, I beg to move Motion 1A standing in my name. I draw attention to my environmental interests, as declared in the register. I am also a member of the Marine Conservation Society.

We are very nearly here with this important legislation. First, I offer my sincere thanks to my noble friend, who is the epitome of patience and understanding. I am sorry for all the extra work I have caused him and his hard-working officials. I also thank the Secretary of State and Fisheries Minister in the other place for the various discussions we have had. I have not had so much interaction with Ministers since I was the Deputy Chief Whip there, and that was normally telling them that they had to stay for votes.

My amendment is very simple, which noble Lords might expect from someone who is best described as a “bear of very little brain”. I simply want to remove the rather vague “in the long term” from sustainability. My fears are perhaps unfounded, and my noble friend has done his best to reassure me that the Bill will offer jam tomorrow, if it does not today, but I believe that we should be putting sustainability at the immediate heart of our fishing policy.

But why is “in the long term” included? What does it actually mean? I remember, when I was in retail, always being confused by the term “lifetime guarantee”. Does it mean the lifetime of the purchaser or of the product so guaranteed? Either way, it is a pretty meaningless phrase. So when does “short term” finish and “mid term” kick in? More importantly, when does “long term” mean? When should we expect—next year, the next five years or, more worryingly, next century? I feel this is a pretty meaningless term, so why not just ditch it?

One of the reasons we have heard is that not having “in the long term” in could threaten port developments. I understand that might be a consideration but, not being a great fisheries expert, I would not have thought that ports would affect fisheries, as they are not close. They might affect shellfish or nearshore fisheries, but not the deep-sea fisheries that we are talking about.

Fish are not visible; perhaps, if they were above the seas, we would appreciate their vulnerability much more. Think about bison on the great plains of North America; there were so many in the 19th century, but they had almost gone within a few decades. Passenger pigeons present an even more poignant example of extinction by overhunting. In today’s world, we are all aware of the dwindling numbers of insects, which is very worrying. But let us not fool ourselves: it has already happened with fish. Speak to the Newfoundlanders, who lost their cod and their livelihoods. We cannot continue to overfish the oceans and, if we still want to maintain our harvest of this valuable food source, we must act and must act straightaway.

I was disappointed to learn that my simple thought unleashes legal arguments far beyond my understanding. Call me psychic, but I get the feeling that my amendment will not be accepted. I am at heart a pragmatist, not a dogmatist, so I therefore ask my noble friend for an assurance, at least, that the current situation, which often prioritises short-term economic impacts when deciding quota limits, will be addressed and that fishing authorities will give due regard to long-term environmental impacts when making decisions.

Perhaps, for those cases where quota allocations are set above scientifically recommended sustainable levels—which happens year after year for certain stocks at the annual negotiations—this could be achieved by giving the public detail setting out the decision-making process and how long-term environmental sustainability of the stock was taken into consideration when making the decision. One of the issues around the annual quota-setting process is the lack of transparency about how decisions are reached. We urgently need accountability around the decision-making process and why the Secretary of State has agreed to overfish a particular stock, if he or she has.

This has been a steep learning curve for me, which I perhaps should have started on some time ago, but I am always keen to learn. I wait to hear my noble friend’s reply to my points. I am also acutely aware that this Chamber is appointed and not elected, and I do not want to embark on something that will unreasonably delay the Bill. I beg to move.

Lord Krebs Portrait Lord Krebs (CB)
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My Lords, it is a great pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord Randall of Uxbridge, who explained the purpose of his amendment so clearly. I can be brief on Motion 1B, because I believe—and I will come back to this—that the Minister agreed to the point of the amendment in his opening speech. The rationale of my amendment, like that of the noble Lord, Lord Randall of Uxbridge, is to ensure that the Bill places primacy on the environmental sustainability of fish stocks and the marine environment.

My amendment explicitly put environmental sustainability as the primary fisheries objective when I tabled it on Report. It was rejected by the Government because, it was argued, sustainability is a three-legged stool. It is about the environment, but it is also about the economy—the livelihood of fishers—and communities. I accept that sustainability is a three-legged stool. Amendment 1B asks how the three legs will be balanced against one another. Like the noble Lord, Lord Randall of Uxbridge, I wish to see transparency in how these calculations are done. As he said, we must avoid making the same mistakes that we have made in the past. We do not need to repeat the arguments that we have heard many times during the passage of this Bill, that many fish stocks, not only in European and UK waters but in other waters around the world, are heavily overfished because short-term gain has always been put ahead of sustainability—the livelihoods of fishers today put ahead of the lives of the fish tomorrow. I am asking the Government to show us their workings. If they are going to balance these three elements of the stool, they must show us how. How have the joint fisheries statements balanced the three legs of sustainability, along with the other fisheries objectives?

In his opening remarks, the Minister answered this. I listened very carefully and wrote down what he said, which was that the joint fisheries statement will include an explanation of how the fisheries policy authorities have sought to balance the individual components of the fisheries objectives, including, importantly, the three elements of the sustainability objective, which is exactly what my amendment was asking for. Furthermore, he said that the fisheries authorities would also give the reasons why their balancing of these different elements of the objectives, including the sustainability objective, is the most appropriate way of meeting the sustainability objective. If the joint fisheries statements follow the indication that the Minister has given, we will end up with transparency, we will all understand the workings and we will understand that if sacrifices are being made in the short term to the marine environment on behalf of the livelihoods of fishers and their communities, we will at least know that this has happened, and why it has happened, which will be a significant step forward.

Like the noble Lord, Lord Randall of Uxbridge, I pay tribute to the Minister, his officials and the Secretary of State in the other place, for their very patient listening. I too have been a thorn in the side of the Minister and his officials. I apologise, but through these prolonged discussions over many months, we have improved the Bill and the surrounding commentary from the Minister at various stages. In thanking him, and in speaking to my amendment, I also support the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Randall of Uxbridge. No doubt when we hear from the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, I shall support his amendment. I had the great privilege of serving under his chairmanship on the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, where we spent many hours cogitating and hearing evidence on remote electronic monitoring.

Lord Teverson Portrait Lord Teverson (LD)
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My Lords, I remind the House of my interest, as chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership. I will speak to Amendments 14A and 14B in my name, but I shall first refer to some of the other amendments. It is excellent to follow the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, to whom I give all credit for his persistence in ensuring that this matter around objectives is not allowed to rest. I hope the Minister will give the noble Lord the assurances that he needs.

I will not go on about it after this, but I must say that the Government have made it quite clear that this Bill is the first time for 40 years or more that we have been able to have our own fisheries legislation—fundamental primary legislation—in this House and in the other place. There are good things in it, and I am delighted that the Government brought it forward, but they should have had more courage to make it, in the Prime Minister’s words, a world-beating and ambitious Bill, rather than one that takes us half way to the destinations we need to reach. I give it credit for where it has got us, but it could have gone further, which is why I am disappointed that the four amendments that this House sent to the other place were effectively rejected.

Regarding the ordering of the objectives of fisheries plans and management, by giving all those objectives equal status, there are a number of escape clauses to avoid the difficult decisions with the fisheries industry around setting tax and quotas. I suspect that we will not have a fundamental fisheries Bill for many years now, so these escape routes will cover future Governments as well as this one. Whatever reassurances we have now, we cannot be certain that they will be carried forward by future Secretaries of State or Governments. That is why I am so sad that we are repeating the mistakes of the common fisheries policy. However, I will move on, and if the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, is happy with the Minister’s response, I give it full credit.

I thank the Minister for mentioning the Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation. From what he says, I suspect that he has been in contact with it. It is great at promoting not only fishing activity but the whole supply chain and the excellent provenance of Cornish fresh fish products.

Going through a couple of those other amendments that we have not talked about so much and do not have counterproposals for, I recognise that the Government are moving ahead on the obligations regarding the proportion of fish landed, which I take positively. However, on the redistribution of quotas, I still want to understand from the Government, given the large foreign ownership of those stocks effectively through British companies, how the Government will resolve those issues and ensure that British fishers will still be the main beneficiaries of that extra quota, which comes from greater control over our EEZ, and not foreign owners of British companies. Will the National Security and Investment Bill, newly introduced in the other place, be a method by which we protect this resource for British fishers? Is that an intention of this Government? It deserves that level of interest, given the potential application of the legislation. Otherwise, we gain the EEZ, we go through difficult negotiations with the EU, and then we give it all away again. How do we ensure that we do not do that?

Coming to my own amendments on remote electronic monitoring, I very much welcome the Government having quickly put out a call for evidence. This will lead to a consultation, and I am also pleased that the Government have given a timetable for that, although it is not until next year, and clearly, even though we are almost into next year, the evidence has yet to come in.

I am slightly disappointed that there is still quite a bit of caution. Clearly, we have to take notice of the evidence that comes in to that call, but there seems still to be no understanding that REM is the way forward. It is the only technology to gain the right data and ensure that enforcement is effective. Sure, some of that might change, but it will change through the software and the way that information is used or processed; it will not be the technology itself—the technology will just get cheaper and easier to use.

I put down an amendment that I thought would absolutely fulfil the Minister’s needs. I am a huge believer in devolution, as are these Benches, and so mine is an English proposition rather than a United Kingdom one. I rather expected the Minister to thank me and accept it. Clearly, that is not going to be the case, and so I have considered my position—I have not quite warned the Deputy Speakers that I might call a vote, but there we are.

I hear what the Government have said and I welcome that we have started to move down the road of the REM process. However, I ask the Minister to use seriously his influence—I know that the Secretary of State is generally positive in this area—to make this big step. It is a route to greater sustainability; it is a route to ensure honest fishers do not suffer from those who are not so honest in the industry. It means a level playing field and honesty on the high seas—something that is difficult to enforce at the moment.

I still push for my amendment. However, I would be interested to hear from the Government on these other issues.

Baroness Henig Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Baroness Henig) (Lab)
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The following Members in the Chamber have indicated they wish to speak: the noble Viscount, Lord Hanworth, the noble Lord, Lord Lansley, the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh of Pickering, and the noble Earl, Lord Caithness.

Viscount Hanworth Portrait Viscount Hanworth (Lab)
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My Lords, I wish to address the Government’s amendment to Clause 1 and the amendment of noble Lord, Lord Randall. The Government have proposed replacing subsections (2) and (3) of Clause 1 with a single subsection. To understand the implications, one must look carefully at the deletions. Subsection (3), which the Government would delete, states that the sustainability objective is the prime fisheries objective. It is reasonable to infer that the removal of this is tantamount to its negation. If sustainability is not the prime objective of fish stock management, it is logical to infer that the depletion of fish stocks would be regarded as a tolerable outcome if their preservation would stand in the way of the realisation of more favoured objectives.

One does not have to look far to discover what these objectives might be. The Government have encouraged an expectation that Brexit will result in a bonanza for British fishermen. They are keen to avoid an immediate disappointment of this expectation by restraining the fishermen. Fish are not vital to the UK economy. The incentive to conserve them is liable to be overshadowed in the short run by the desire of the Government to appease UK fishermen and supporters of Brexit in general.

That this is the immediate objective is confirmed by another deletion from subsection 2(a)—the deletion to which the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Randall, draws attention. The original clause declared the intention to avoid compromising environmental sustainability either in the short term or in the long term. The Government now propose to do this only in the long term. This invites the danger that, in the long term, there would be little left to sustain. The noble Lord, Lord Randall, has proposed that the remaining qualification, which refers to the long run, should also be deleted, so that the objective of environmental sustainability can be asserted unequivocally. I believe this to be his intention and I support his Motion strongly.

Thankfully, there are other passages in the confused text of this Bill that might give us greater hope for the survivability of fish stocks than the Government’s proposed version of subsection (2) of Clause 1. Clause 1(3)(b) asserts the objective of exploiting the marine stocks in such a way as to maintain the populations of harvested species above the biomass levels capable of producing the maximum sustainable yield. Notice that this is not an injunction to fish at the maximum sustainable yield—which would imperil the fish stocks—but to fish at a lesser rate, which would allow stocks to regenerate.

I am unaware of the problems of this clause. It must have been placed there by someone with a proper understanding of fish stock ecology. It makes good sense and I wish to commend it.

Lord Lansley Portrait Lord Lansley (Con)
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My Lords, I am glad to have the opportunity to contribute briefly on this group of amendments. I wish to speak to nothing other than Commons Amendment 3, relating to the deletion of Clause 18, which deals with the national landing requirement. I support the Government going down this path of accepting that we do not want to impose the rigidities of that formulation, and I entirely agree with what my noble friend the Minister said in introducing his amendments and speaking to that particular one.

As was said by my noble friend, and by the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, this is about achieving economic benefits through economic linkage. The Government are pursuing this through their consultation. We must understand that the most important economic benefits will be derived from the new relationship we establish with the European Union and our role as an independent coastal state. We must make this happen.

I remind noble Lords—I know those present will know only too well—that we import two-thirds of the fish that we eat and we export two-thirds of the fish that we catch. The market and trading relationship that we have with our neighbours is as important as the relationship that we have around the allocation of fishing opportunities. It is said that a deal can be done: both sides are saying a deal can be done but both sides continue to say that such a deal has not yet been done in relation to fisheries. That is a sad fact, because it should be the case that a deal should be available. Some considerable time ago, the European Union accepted the proposition that there would be a move to zonal attachment rather than relative stability. It cannot deny the simple legal fact that we have now, and will have in future, sovereign control over our waters, but I think we all accept that there is a need to co-operate.

The noble Lord, Lord Teverson—he understands this far better than I do—made the point that what we require for our UK fishing fleet is, in the years ahead, a reversal of the experience they have had in the last decades. Instead of the progressive reduction of capacity of the UK fishing fleet—which I think is something around 30% down over 20 years, and halved over the last 40 years—we want in the decade ahead to see the capacity of the UK fishing fleet increase, year on year. It is not simply about the allocation of additional quota, because, as the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, said, that could end up quota that is sold back to foreign boats.

What we want to see therefore—and what is, I think, the basis of a deal—is an acceptance on the part of the EU that there is a progressive increase in UK quota that is then made as additional quota available to UK boats at a pace realistic to their ability to increase capacity. They have been losing capacity, on average, at 2% a year, and we could maybe be more ambitious in recovering it—at perhaps 5% a year, and a 50% increase in capacity over 10 years.

It may be that this is not achievable in a straightforward deal with our European partners. But in the broader context of the relationship with the EU, such a shift and reduction in the available quota to our neighbours in the European Union is entirely negotiable, with compensation for those who lose access to quota in some of these other countries. That may be something we have to accept in the context of the deal.

However, it seems to me that one of the ideological barriers to understanding the nature of the deal that has to be struck is the proposition, constantly made by the Government, that there is no relationship between market access and quota. That is clearly not true. It was not true for the Norwegians: the European Economic Area discussions that Norway had with the European Union were about financial contributions, fishing opportunities and market access. Our deal with the European Union must include all those three aspects too. When we accept that, and the fact that we are substantial importers and consumers of fish caught by our neighbours, just as they buy from us, we then begin to realise that there must be a deal and how it might be achievable. We will then get the economic benefits through the expansion of our fishing fleet over a period of time at a sustainable rate, which, I believe, should be accepted, even by the most fervent advocates of the Brexit process—which I am not. But even those who are must accept that simply, for example, giving all the quota back to the English fishing fleet tomorrow will not suddenly create a large capacity that does not presently exist.

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Portrait Baroness McIntosh of Pickering (Con)
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I shall speak in support of the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Teverson. I would like to say what a privilege it is to serve under his chairmanship on the EU Environment Sub-Committee.

I have spoken at every stage of this Bill about the benefits of remote electronic monitoring, and I very much support the conclusions that we reached in the other place when I was chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. As the number one admirer of my noble friend the Minister, I believe that this amendment should be extremely helpful to him. I would like to quote what my noble friend the Duke of Montrose would have said had he been here. He feels that at the moment we are missing answers to the main questions about reasonably accurate records of stocks, and I think that this amendment serves to plug that gap. In my noble friend’s words, it

“might remove some of the resistance in the under 10m fleet”,

because we are exposing that. The amendment addresses what is missing at the moment, which is the scientific data that we need. I welcome the fact that under-10-metre vessels will be excluded and that that exclusion will apply to both UK vessels and other vessels fishing in our waters.

I want to impress on the Minister a sense of urgency in this matter. I welcome the fact that he has made a call for evidence and that we are to have a consultation in the first half of next year, but there will then be a further delay before the regulations are drafted and come into effect, and that is the missing link. Therefore, I urge the Minister to show a sense of urgency in this regard.

In regard to the quotas for under-10-metre fishing vessels, when I was MEP for Essex North and Suffolk South, the whole of the Essex coast was in my constituency. This issue is of immense concern to fishermen there and to fishermen in Filey and other parts of Yorkshire. I am sure that my noble friend will confirm that we do not need to have left the EU fisheries policy to achieve this, so, again, I hope that we can proceed rapidly to the donations and to allowing unused quotas to be used by the under-10s.

The noble Lord, Lord Krebs, always speaks with authority. If the Minister is not able to accept his amendment, I hope that he will say what vehicle he will use in this House to inform us how the three legs of the sustainability objective will be retained.

Finally, expressions such as “long term” and “shortly” always amuse me. Now, we learn from the Minister that we will hear before the summer about the regulations to bring part of these provisions into effect. Can my noble friend point to the specific part that “in the long term” will apply to? Is it the habitats directive? Which legal provision would prevent any possible future development of ports if the words “in the long term” were removed from Amendment 1? What specific legal provision can he refer to in that regard? I am struggling to understand, unless there is a specific provision in the habitats directive or other parts of what are now EU retained law in UK law.

With that, the one amendment that I would support, if he were to put it to a vote, is Amendment 14B, standing in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Teverson.

Earl of Caithness Portrait The Earl of Caithness (Con)
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My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, said that this Bill is not ambitious enough. I think that it is, and it is considerably more ambitious than it would have been if written a few years ago, as I am sure he would agree. In 10 years’ time, we might, with hindsight, say that it could have been more ambitious, but, given the current climate, I think that it is a pretty ambitious Bill.

I say that because one has to bear in mind the amount of detailed work and consultation that has gone on with the devolved Administrations. I will not point a finger at which of the devolved Administrations is not as keen on the environment as the Lords, Lord Teverson and Lord Krebs, and I might be and has blocked some of the amendments that we put forward.

The noble Lord, Lord Teverson, also talked about companies and business. I take a slightly different view from him on that. I welcome all investment in the fishing industry, wherever it comes from, as it is to the benefit of this country and the fishing industry. I hope that my noble friend Lord Gardiner will confirm that the taxpayer will not compensate or help English fishermen to buy back the quotas that they have sold but which the Scottish and other fishermen have not sold and who would therefore not benefit in the same way,

I join the noble Viscount, Lord Hanworth, in his concern that Clause 1(3) is being deleted. I listened to my noble friend’s opening speech, but I hope that he will come back to this point, because it seems to me that sustainability should remain a prime objective of the fishing industry.

On Amendment 1B, I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, on his persistence and, I think, his victory with the Government. He was right to highlight what my noble friend Lord Gardiner had said. Provided my noble friend confirms that the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, has correctly interpreted what he said, I will stick with the Government on this.

I was initially attracted by Amendment 1A, in the name of my noble friend Lord Randall of Uxbridge, but he was wise to be pragmatic, because there are difficulties with deleting “in the long term”. However, I hope very much that in the short term we will get to where we are going.

Finally, on Amendment 14B, in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, the Bill allows this to be introduced. I speak with the experience of having twice been a Minister for Fisheries many moons ago. I recall that the one lesson I learned from everybody I talked to in the fishing industry then was that, if you work with the industry, you get a better and quicker result than if you impose something on it. This is perhaps one situation where I suggest to the House that that bit of advice is the way forward. I know that my noble friend is keen to get this to work, but I think that working with the industry and getting it on side will be helpful. One has only to read the press reports of the great spat that is about to happen between President Macron and the French scallop fishers. Perhaps that is why President Macron is being so difficult over the fishing negotiations: he is trying to appease the industry on the one hand while clobbering it hard with the other.

We have made progress with the Bill. It is a substantial step forward, and I hope that none of the amendments is put to a vote.

Baroness Henig Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Baroness Henig) (Lab)
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I have had no further requests from the Chamber to speak, so I now call the noble Lord, Lord Cameron of Dillington.

Lord Cameron of Dillington Portrait Lord Cameron of Dillington (CB) [V]
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My Lords, this group of amendments seems to put all the controversial fishing amendments—as opposed to the controversial Crown dependency amendment—into one group. I ask noble Lords to forgive the length of my intervention at this stage of the Bill but it will be my only intervention today.

On Amendment 1B, I support the principles being put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Krebs. One of the most unedifying parts of the common fisheries policy is the annual December bun-fight over future quotas and fishing rights. This is a party where too many Ministers try to represent the fishers of their country against the fishers of a neighbouring country; they try to represent the fishers of today rather than the fishers of tomorrow, who unfortunately do not get a vote. I remember the noble Lord, Lord Deben, telling me once about an occasion when he was representing the UK at that year’s fisheries meeting. The Danish Fisheries Minister tried to take a long-term view of fishing opportunities; when he got home, he was promptly sacked for letting down his fishing industry. That is an example of why the common fisheries policy has sometimes been described as a tragedy of the commons —in other words, today’s fishers say to themselves, “There’s no point in me not catching all the fish I can now because if I don’t catch them while they are there, the other blighters will”.

However, all that is now finished. These are our waters that we are discussing. The other blighters cannot catch them without a licence issued by us. When we get remote electronic monitoring on to all the boats in our waters, British and EU, we will know exactly who is catching what and where and thus be able to prevent overfishing for short-term socioeconomic gain. So there is no longer any excuse for not taking a long-term sustainable approach to our fisheries.

I quite like the use of “long term”. In saying that, I am not trying to oppose the amendment by the noble Lord, Lord Randall. I understand completely what he is getting at and I totally support his motives; he does not want short-term economic gain to trump environmental gain in either the short or the long term. However, I would quite like to have “long term” somewhere in this crucial Bill-defining first clause because it seems to me that that would make it clear that we are laying down these objectives for tomorrow’s fishers rather than today’s—for our current fishers’ grand- children rather than for those fishers themselves.

Coming back to Amendment 1B in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, a commitment by the Minister on the Floor of the House may suffice at this stage. However, although I may have missed this in his opening remarks, I ask that he considers in his final remarks committing to reporting on this matter more than just once after the Bill has been enacted. It would be good to know that this once-in-a-lifetime chance to embed the right principles in our fisheries legislation will be an ongoing commitment for the long term— which, as I say, is what really matters.

Turning briefly to Commons Amendment 3, I can see why, with the Brexit negotiations still ongoing, the Government did not want their hands tied by the details of our Clause 18 on the landing requirement. I can also see why they would want more flexibility—and time, perhaps—to consult on economic links. However, it is a pity, in spite of what the Minister said, that the Government did not feel that they could have replaced our Clause 18 with their own clause setting out the principles of an economic link. We have now lost all reference in the Bill to a landing requirement or an economic link; as I say, that is a pity, particularly bearing in mind the vision that the noble Lord, Lord Lansley, just gave us on how our negotiations with the EU might go over the next 10 years or so.

The same thoughts apply to Commons Amendment 4, which removed our Clause 27 on holding a reserve of quota for new entrants and smaller boats. The Minister in the other place said that

“the Government agree with the intention behind the clause, but disagree with the manner in which that intention is proposed to be delivered … It is our intention to consult on using some of the additional quota that I am convinced is coming to us to provide increased fishing opportunities for under-10 metre vessels … but I am afraid, because of the drafting difficulties, I cannot support the clause.”—[Official Report, Commons, Fisheries Bill Committee, 10/9/20; col. 123.]

If the Government support the clause but not its details, why not put in something better of their own in its place? Even if consultation has to follow, this seems to be an opportunity lost. After all, such schemes have worked successfully in Denmark, on a more local scale in the Shetlands and probably in other countries as well.

The impression given by the Government’s amendment just to delete our Clause 27 is one of Executive bulldozing—that is, “We don’t disapprove of what is proposed but, rather than sitting down and working out what is needed, let’s just scrap it altogether and leave it to us, the Executive, to work something out in future without the parliamentary scrutiny that words on the face of a Bill might require”. As I said about Amendment 3, this seems like a lost opportunity to put something in the Bill, which is a pity because this Bill sets the framework for our UK fisheries for probably a whole generation.

Turning to Amendment 14B, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, for bringing forward once again the question of having remote electronic monitoring, known as REM, on fishing vessels in our waters and trying to get some form of government commitment into the Bill. Having looked at fisheries several times over the years on the EU sub-committee that the noble Lord very skilfully chairs, and having heard hours—if not days—of evidence on this subject, I am convinced that REM is going to be the key element to the successful and sustainable fishing regime that we all wish to see in British waters after we regain control of our own fisheries.

As I made clear on Report, we need REM to manage all the fishing in our waters. One of the most important reasons is that we do not have the necessary fleet available to police either our new fisheries policy or the terms and conditions that will accompany the fishing licences for all boats in UK waters. Bearing in mind that some 70% of all fish currently caught in UK waters are caught by non-UK boats, the management role of REM will be really important to the equitable management of our fisheries and thus the long-term sustainability of our UK fishing industry. It is important that our own fishers realise that if we are to change the share-out of the fish in our waters, albeit gradually, we will have to accept that REM is inevitable as we cannot monitor non-UK boats without monitoring our own. The sooner we have REM, the better it will be for everyone.

In a similar vein, I acknowledge that the Scottish fishing fleet catches 64% of all UK fish landed compared to the English fleet’s mere 28%, so one might think that this compromise amendment—Amendment 14B—applies only to England and would put an unfair burden on the English fleet. It might, but then again we should note that the introduction of REM to the Scottish fleet was in fact a manifesto commitment of the SNP, so I do not believe that any disparity would last for very long.

In any case, without going into all the detail of the advantages of REM that I spoke about on Report—such as providing data for zonal attachment and avoiding choke species—I firmly believe that the large amounts of real-time data that would become available to fishers and fishing authorities as a result of the introduction of universal REM would become a hugely valuable asset to all parties, including to the fishers themselves. I am convinced that, if they try it for a few years, the fishermen will not want to go back. I realise that Amendment 14B does not go as far as universal REM but I hope that eventually we will get it on to all boats.

But, ignoring my aspirations and coming back to where we are today, I get the impression that the Government are actually quite enthusiastic about REM—I think the Minister confirmed that in his opening remarks—but they just want the room to introduce it in their own way and in their own time. I was interested to see from my notes on the passage of the earlier version of the Bill through its Committee stage in the Commons last year that the then Fisheries Minister, one George Eustice, said:

“as I made clear earlier, DEFRA has recently consulted on extending VMS requirements to UK vessels under 12 metres in length.”

VMS—video monitoring system—was the earlier acronym to describe REM. He went on to say:

“Work on this is at an advanced stage and we anticipate bringing forward the regulations next year.”

Clearly all that is now irrelevant with the collapse of that particular Bill, but I would be interested to know the difference between that consultation, which George Eustice referred to, and the call for evidence just launched. I hope that the current one includes asking both US and New Zealand authorities, for instance, what made them roll it out across their fleets, what their early impressions are and, perhaps, how they managed to impose it in the face of the inevitable reluctance of their fishers. Do not forget that, in both cases, I would be surprised if even 5% of their fish were being caught by non-national boats, so the argument for REM for their fleets would not have been half so convincing as it is for ours.

Also, given my assumption of the enthusiasm for REM by both Defra and its Ministers, I was wondering if the Minister might go as far as to echo the words of the current Secretary of State by saying, like him last year:

“we anticipate bringing forward the regulations next year.”—[Official Report, Commons, Fisheries Bill Committee, 17/12/18; col. 369.]

Perhaps that may be an ask too far.

I realise that this amendment is probably not going to change very much of itself, but it would be good to get some form of greater encouragement from the Minister that REM really matters to the Government. As I say, I am convinced that the introduction of universal REM will be the key element to a successful and sustainable UK fishing regime.

As this is probably my last intervention on the Bill, I want to say that the passing of the Bill will be a great moment in the history of UK fisheries, possibly more so than the passing of the now Agriculture Act is for UK farmers, though some might dispute that. Anyway, I am proud to have been involved in this Bill—well, both Bills actually—and to have worked with everyone from all sides of the House, particularly with the Minister, who has given so much of his time and attention to everything we have had to say.

I believe we now have a pretty good road map for our fishing future. We have the opportunity to set off in a new direction and I hope be a model to the rest of the world, where, all too often, fisheries are overfished to the detriment of the marine environment. We, the non-government Peers involved, did not get all we wanted from the Bill, and we have had to trust the Government across a range of issues in the hope that they will actually deliver. But I sincerely hope and believe that, if the Government do stick to their commitments, the way forward mapped out by the Bill will enable us to maintain a flourishing fishing industry without, most importantly, compromising the opportunities of future generations.

Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Portrait Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville (LD) [V]
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My Lords, I thank the Minister for his extensive introduction to this group of amendments, and for his time and that of the Secretary of State and his officials in providing a briefing. He has given reasons for why amendments in this group cannot be accepted. However, I regret that I find it difficult to accept the Government’s arguments.

We spent many hours and days debating the Bill, with contributions from all sides in an effort to improve it, preserve our fishing stocks, protect the economy of our coastal communities and give our fishermen an income which will sustain them into the future. That is not an easy task but, at the end of the day, if we do not protect our fish stocks, we will have received no economic or social benefits for either the communities or the fishermen.

Fishing must be conducted in a sustainable way and the environment must be protected. We are all aware of the severe challenges faced by our coastal towns and villages during the six months from October to March each year, when the tourists and second homeowners visit less frequently, and in some areas not at all. Coastal communities that attract thousands of visitors during the spring and summer months know that it is often the sight of the fishing boats in the harbour which are the draw.

However, unless fish stocks are preserved and sustained into the future, there is a very real threat to the prosperity of these communities. A smash-and-grab approach, whereby fish are taken over and above the maximum sustainable yield for short-term economic gain, will not produce the results needed. Transparency, as the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, has indicated, is absolutely key.

Motion 1A, in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Randall of Uxbridge, is simple: sustainability is a must for ever. Is “the long term”, in the view of the Government, three years? Is it 10 years? It must be stretching into the future. Just what does “long term” mean? It is not acceptable in 20 years’ time for our grandchildren to say, “What is cod? What does it look like? What does it taste like?” I choose this species as it is the most widely available on fish counters today and in fish and chip shops, but it could be any species—skate, hake or haddock. The noble Lord, Lord Randall, makes very pertinent points about the invisibility of fish. Despite international commitments to end overfishing by 2020, only 58% to 68% of UK fish stocks for which data is available are currently fished at sustainable levels. This means that between 32% and 42% are overfished and not sustainable.

Motion 1B in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, similarly presses the need for environmental sustainability. We know from previous discussions that the Government believe that sustainability is only a third of the basis for their fishing policies, with economic and social factors being on a par—a three-legged stool. This is a false premise on which to go forward; it will not protect fish stocks. Once fish stocks have depleted there will be no economic or social benefits. Sustainability must be the overarching consideration. The noble Lord, Lord Cameron of Dillington, has spoken knowledgeably about the allocation of quota, and the bun-fight when it is distributed.

It is regrettable that the Commons has not sought to include and support Clause 18 for a national landing requirement. Similarly, it had rejected Clause 27, which would have ensured fishing opportunities for new entrants and boats under 10 metres. There is, therefore, little hope for those young men and women living in coastal communities who wish to make fishing their way of life. There is now no mechanism for them to plan for such a future; this is extremely short-sighted. As more mature fishermen retire, it will be essential to encourage younger people into the industry. Can the Minister say what measures the Government intend to put in place to encourage new entrants into the fishing industry?

Amendment 14B, in the name of my noble friend Lord Teverson, seeks to install remote electronic monitoring systems and cameras on all over-10-metre fishing vessels, including those fishing outside the UK EEZ. This would be phased in within the next five years after passing the Bill. His timetable is not unreasonable: he asks not for this to happen next year but for a phased implementation. The government consultation on the implementation of REM is to be welcomed. It is essential that robust and verifiable data is needed to support well-managed, accountable and sustainable fisheries. Trials of REM on UK vessels have already illustrated the benefits of this technology as a valuable monitoring tool.

So why is it so important to have this on the face of the Bill and not wait for the results of the government consultation? The NFFO policy statement is that Brexit provides an opportunity to take back control of UK fishing: control access to UK waters and ensure that UK fishermen get a fair deal on quotas; revive coastal communities, bringing immediate and long-term opportunities; and grow the UK’s industry as a world leader in sustainable fisheries management. It is not wrong—this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. However, it is the methods that it wishes to follow to achieve this which are flawed. On the subject of MSY, it believes that:

“Setting quotas in mixed fisheries for sustainable fisheries management … will not be helped if there is a legal requirement that elevates MSY above all other factors and an immoveable rigidity is introduced into fisheries management.”

MSY is key to sustainability of our fish stocks.

The NFFO is similarly

“against the blanket introduction of REM as this would raise a range of ethical, legal and practical questions that so far remain unaddressed”.

I am at a loss to understand what the ethical questions might be. One thing is very clear: introducing REM will leave no doubt in anyone’s mind as to what has been caught, where and what, if anything, has been thrown back, and where the catch is landed.

The noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh of Pickering, has supported my noble friend Lord Teverson in this eloquent amendment, as have other Peers. We wait to see what the result of the REM consultation will produce but, as my noble friend said, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I deeply regret that we have not grasped it with both hands. Yes, there would have been difficult decisions, but now is the time to make them, not put them off for another day. I support all three amendments, which are absolutely vital for the future of our fishing industry and fish stocks over the next 30 years.

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Portrait Baroness Jones of Whitchurch (Lab)
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My Lords, I thank the Minister for his letter setting out the Government’s reasons on these amendments, and also for the very helpful meeting with the Secretary of State and advisers earlier this week. However, we remain disappointed with the Government’s response. We believe that the substance of our original amendments was sound and a constructive improvement to the Bill. Having read Hansard for the Commons considerations of our amendments, I would say that we won the arguments even if we did not win the votes.

Of course, there is a particular irony in that, from the outset, we were told that we could not amend this Bill as it was a done deal with the devolved nations that could not be unpicked, yet here we are considering 101 government amendments that have been tabled since our amendments were opposed for that very reason. We will consider the merits or otherwise of the government amendments in other groups, but I want to say something more about our amendments at this stage.

First, on sustainability, I do not think that we will ever agree on the need for environmental sustainability to be paramount. The Minister knows the strength of feeling in the House on this issue. It was not helped by the argument he originally put forward that we should welcome the arrangements because they merely replicated those in the common fisheries policy, which, as noble Lords will know, has led to depleted stocks, whereby just over half of UK fishing stocks are fished at sustainable levels. As the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, said, leaving the EU was the one opportunity to make a dynamic difference to the sustainability of our fish stocks, and it feels like the Government have failed to grasp that vision and make it a reality.

Nevertheless, I welcome the commitments in the Minister’s letter to build sustainability into the pilot schemes for the fisheries management plans and to increase protections for the marine protected areas. However, there is clearly a great deal more to be done to demonstrate environmental sustainability in action and to persuade us that there has been a break with the discredited practices of the past. This is why I support the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, which would require the Secretary of State to report to Parliament on how the economic, social and environmental objectives are being balanced by the fisheries policy authorities. We would then be in a better position to judge the Government’s real determination to deliver change on this issue and there would be the transparency that we all seek. As has been said, the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, has been tenacious in pursuing this issue, so I am pleased that the Minister was able to provide more detail in his opening comments on how the fisheries management plans will work and how the three-legged stool will be balanced so that we can hold local fishing communities to account for achieving all aspects of sustainability.

I also welcome the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Randall. He is quite right to point out that environmental sustainability should be not just a long-term objective—or, as he put it, “jam tomorrow”; it should be for the here and now, in response to the immediate crisis, rather than a distant and worthy goal. That is the point that my noble friend Lord Hanworth echoed. It seems like a simple but important amendment and I hope that the Minister will recognise the strength of the concerns raised today on this issue. Like the noble Lord, Lord Randall, I was not sure about the argument that coastal development might impact on short-term sustainability. I am sorry that the Government did not feel able to take this simple amendment on board, but I hope that the Minister was able, in his comments, to provide sufficient reassurance to the noble Lord, Lord Randall, that it will, in practice, be both a short- and long-term objective.

Moving on, I am pleased that the Government have belatedly acknowledged our case in the Lords amendments on the national landing requirement and reserved quotas. The announcement of consultations on how to split additional quota from EU negotiations, the allocation of quotas for new entrants, and additional licencing requirements for vessels to land the fish at UK ports is very welcome. I will be interested to hear the response to the pertinent question from the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, on how we can ensure that British fishers benefit from the additional quotas when so much of the fleet is currently foreign owned.

Of course, consultations can mean only so much, but it is a start, and it shows that the Government have listened to us and are beginning to address the decline of coastal communities, which lay at the heart of our amendments. As we said in the debates, our coastal communities have suffered for far too long from poor transport infrastructure, lack of educational opportunities, poor-quality housing and a tourism industry in decline. Landing more fish in UK ports, and providing new job opportunities at sea and in the port areas, could provide a lifeline for those communities. We will be watching the consultations with interest and making sure that the results are not left to rot in a back drawer in a department somewhere. But at least this is some progress.

Finally, the Government have of course also issued a call for evidence on the introduction of REM on boats in England. This was another issue with huge support when we debated it here in the Lords. It clearly goes hand in hand with the sustainability objective, as a number of noble Lords said. It was good to see 22 major supermarkets and seafood businesses recently support the call for sustainable fishing and robust monitoring and enforcement, including the rollout of cameras on boats. They quite rightly made the case that the current lack of monitoring was affecting their credibility as responsible UK businesses.

Again, the issue is what happens once the consultation ends. That is why the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, is right to push his amendment on this issue and to flag up that we are trying to tie the hands not only of this Government but of future Administrations so that we can see the success going forward. We need timeframes and action, not just consultations on consultations. As I understand it, the devolved nations are also on board for the rollout of REM, so this is an opportunity for the UK to show leadership and determination on the issue. I hope that, when he replies, the Minister will be able to persuade us that there is a detailed game plan in place, there will not be a delay and we will indeed see the rollout of REM during 2021. I look forward to his response.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
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My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who have spoken in this fairly wide-ranging debate. I am particularly grateful for the kind and generous remarks that have been made.

I say to the noble Baronesses, Lady Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville and Lady Jones of Whitchurch, that sustainability is at the heart of the Bill. I think that the work that we have all done together on the Bill shows a spirit of ambition—my noble friend Lord Caithness used the word “ambitious”. I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, will be satisfied that the opportunities will be as this comes into fruition. I do not think that we have missed opportunities in terms of legislative provision. The key and the test of all this is what this framework Bill will do to the marine environment, out there in the seas and oceans. That is when we all be judged—Governments, the industry—and when we will be able to see that fish stocks are recovering; indeed, that more fish stocks are recovering.

It is interesting that my noble friend Lord Randall spoke about the reference to “long term” and not wanting this, but the noble Lord, Lord Cameron, rather liked it. Our clear ongoing commitment, setting out how the fisheries objectives will be applied, is provided through Clause 2(1)(c), as I said. I repeat that this will be reviewed and updated with each iteration of the joint fisheries statement, which will be laid before Parliament and consulted on. There will be regular scrutiny of our ongoing commitment to ensure that today’s fishers’ grandchildren enjoy the benefits of a healthy and productive marine environment, with sustainable fish stocks that support a thriving fishing industry and vibrant coastal communities. I know that that is the objective of us all. I repeat: removing “in the long term” from Clause 1, as proposed by my noble friend Lord Randall, will introduce significant legal uncertainty and, we believe, hinder our policy development.

The noble Lord, Lord Cameron, asked about IVMS and REM. My understanding is that inshore vessel monitoring systems are a satellite-based monitoring system and enforcement tool that provides an accurate picture of the fishing location and activity of the under-12-metre fleet. Following public consultation in early 2019, the MMO is putting plans in place for IVMS to be rolled out to all licensed British under- 12-metre vessels operating in English waters. The date of implementation is not expected to be before late 2021. The devolved Administrations are all currently working on IVMS projects for their respective under-12-metre fleets. In comparison, REM includes integrated onboard systems of cameras, gear sensors, video storage and global positioning system units that capture comprehensive video of fishing activities. As I have highlighted, we do not want REM to be exclusively and alone an enforcement tool; we think that there are many other attributes of that system.

I know this was a point all noble Lords were concerned about, but I will flag up the noble Lords, Lord Teverson and Lord Cameron, who asked for a date for REM implementation. I particularly refer to my noble friend Lady McIntosh in saying that we are already using REM. The Government are clear that we will be consulting on increasing the use of REM in the first half of 2021, with implementation following that. I am not in a position to give a precise date today for when this will be implemented, but I can absolutely say—and I want to put this on the record—that the Government are absolutely seized of the importance of REM. Indeed, other technologies may come along in the future that will also assist us with all the things that we hope and intend that REM will do, as I have described. However, I understand and accept that everyone wants action on this; I share that feeling, as do the Fisheries Minister and the Secretary of State.

I welcome the comments of my noble friend Lord Randall and the noble Lord, Lord Krebs, who highlighted the importance of transparency in quota setting. I agree with them, and that is why we supported my noble friend Lord Lansley’s amendment on Report, which provided further transparency about the criteria used by setting this in the Bill. These amendments also made clear the link between the fisheries objectives and quota distribution through Clause 22. That means that the fisheries administrations will need to explain, through the joint fisheries statement, how their policies on quota allocation contribute to the achievement of the fisheries objectives. As I have said, six of the eight are environmentally focused.

The Secretary of State’s determination for UK fishing opportunities will be required to be laid before Parliament under Clause 25(2) in the version of the Bill that went to the House of Commons. This will be an additional opportunity for scrutiny not previously available under the EU system. There is still more that we need to do to achieve our ambitions for the marine environment. The Government are already taking action through our work to implement the joint fisheries statement and the fisheries management plans. The Bill will put in place the framework to make that action even stronger.

I received some questions. If there are any that I do not answer fully enough, in my opinion, I will write to noble Lords, but I hope I have answered most of them. The noble Lord, Lord Teverson, asked about foreign-owned vessels and the economic link. Foreign-owned but UK-flagged vessels will continue to be allowed to fish in UK waters. They will need to meet the economic link criteria, as all UK vessels must. In England, our consultation proposes strengthening these criteria, realising an ever-greater benefit from these boats.

The noble Lord also asked about REM. We are clear that it is a route forward, and we want to make sure that its uses can be maximised beyond enforcement, as I said. My noble friend Lord Caithness made a point that I addressed in my earlier remarks: I think we all agree that it is much better that we work with industry to get this done because that is how we will have the right arrangements to ensure that the fishing industry—this is why I quoted those remarks from Cornwall and elsewhere; it is something that we increasingly need—sees the quest for sustainability as the heart and soul of what it is doing.

My noble friend Lord Lansley referred to negotiations. As the Bill is negotiations-neutral, for me to start speculating on any deal may not be helpful to your Lordships today. Our quota consultation makes clear that we want to do something different with additional quota so that it is not distributed through FQA units. In relation to fleet capacity, currently managed by restrictive licensing and quota allocation, we believe that the fleet could catch additional quota with no need for expansion.

The noble Lord, Lord Teverson, asked about the National Security and Investment Bill. I will make sure that that point is put to my colleagues, but I am afraid I am not in a position to opine on it myself. My noble friend Lord Caithness asked about buy-back. The quota consultation asked for views on different ways of distributing additional quota negotiated. This relates not to a buy-back scheme but to different ways for fishers to access quota in the future. The noble Lord, Lord Cameron, asked about the “national benefit objective” in Clause 1, which will require the fisheries administrations to set out their policies for achieving benefits for the UK from fish caught by UK boats—a clear reference to the economic link.

My noble friend Lady McIntosh asked about port development. My understanding is that this is subject to habitats and other regulatory regimes. Plans are also subject to environmental assessment.

The noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, rightly asked about new entrants. I should have said that it is not just fishers’ grandchildren but their children whom we want to be engaged in this sustainable harvest, with excellent food coming from our waters. Helping to safeguard the industry’s future by encouraging new entrants is very important. We will look at how we can best work with industry to encourage that as part of our work to reform the fisheries management regime.

There was also a reference to the landing requirement. I have to mention carefully the helpful comments and messages that we—or other noble Lords—sent to the other place. On the point about landing requirements, we have brought forward this consultation on the proposal to increase the landing requirement to 70% to incentivise a higher level of landings into the UK and to ensure a stronger link between vessels fishing UK waters and the UK economy. This figure has been chosen because we believe it strikes the right balance between the need for a strengthened link and recognition that it is appropriate for some vessels to land their catch outside the UK, while demonstrating an economic link through quota donations. As I said, we are seeking views in our consultation on the appropriateness of the 70% figure.

I will look at Hansard, but I want to confirm, so there is no ambiguity, that I absolutely recognise the points all noble Lords have made in their amendments. It is why I set out in my opening remarks some of the action that is already being taken in the short term, as with Dogger Bank and shellfish. It is not that we want to be doing these things in years to come; we need to be doing them now, and we are doing them now. We need to work progressively so that, in our waters at least, we have a sustainable harvest with a sustainable environment, not just for the harvesting of the fish that we want to eat but for the entire ecosystem, which is clearly a key priority and responsibility of the UK Government. For those reasons, I beg to move my amendment.

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall) (Lab)
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My Lords, I have received no request to ask a short question of elucidation after the Minister. Does any noble Lord in the Chamber wish to contribute further? In which case, I call the noble Lord, Lord Randall.

Lord Randall of Uxbridge Portrait Lord Randall of Uxbridge (Con) [V]
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My Lords, I would like to thank all noble Lords who have taken part in this wide-ranging debate and particularly those who spoke to my amendment. I am particularly grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Cameron of Dillington, and others who had a different take on what I was reading into the Government’s amendment, and I can understand there are several ways of interpreting it. I am still slightly at a loss about the point of port development, because I do not think that actually impacts decisions to set fishing quotas above sustainable levels, but I shall leave it there.

Despite my prodding the Government once or twice, I still believe they have the environment at the heart of their policies. I shall continue to ensure as best I can that that is the case, but I am an optimist, and I think we will see further measures coming forward that will encourage me. I shall continue to talk about the marine environment and fishes, but I can assure my noble friends in the Government Whips’ Office that any plans they had for me to sleep with the fishes are unfounded, as I beg leave to withdraw the amendment in my name.

Motion 1A (as an amendment to Amendment 1) withdrawn.

Motion 1B (as an amendment to Amendment 1) not moved.

Motion on Amendment 1 agreed.

Motion on Amendment 2

Moved by

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
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That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment 2.

2: Clause 2, page 3, line 37, leave out “18 months” and insert “two years”

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
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My Lords, as your Lordships will have seen in my letter of 3 November to all Peers, the House of Commons agreed a number of changes to the Bill. I hope my letter was helpful in setting out the reasons for those changes.

Amendment 2 extends the timeframe for the publication of the joint fisheries statement from 18 months after Royal Assent to 24 months. This change was necessary due to the delays in the passage of the Fisheries Bill, mostly, latterly, as a result of Covid-19. Had this amendment not been made, key stages of the drafting and adoption processes would have fallen within the pre-election periods for all three of the devolved legislatures, and so they requested we make this change. We believe it would not be appropriate to be making potentially new policy decisions as part of the JFS drafting process during any pre-election period.

Amendment 5 expressly allows the publication of personal data relating to funding recipients, and Amendments 66, 67 and 68 make equivalent provision in relation to the devolved Administrations’ funding powers. There should be transparency when public funds are made available. The publication of such data is in the public interest and facilitates fraud deterrence and detection. The publication of data on grant beneficiaries was raised during the development of our future funding scheme, and this amendment expressly addresses this concern.

Amendment 77 and the consequential Amendments 13 and 27 strengthen existing legislative protections for seals in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland. The amendments greatly restrict the circumstances in which any intentional killing of a wild seal is lawfully permitted. We have, however, retained important exemptions: it will, for instance, still be lawful to euthanise a wild seal suffering from catastrophic injury, pain or disease.

These changes are necessary for the UK to comply with new import regulations being implemented in the United States of America. From January 2022, the United States will only allow imports of fisheries products from countries that do not allow the killing, injuring or taking of marine mammals as part of commercial fisheries. Not complying with this requirement would result in a significant loss of export revenue for the United Kingdom. In 2019, wild-capture exports to the United States were worth approximately £13.3 million.

Given the possible impact of this change on the catching sector, Defra undertook a targeted consultation in England before committing to any changes. Defra also agreed to legislate on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive, and their respective legislative regime for seals needed time to be worked through. For both these reasons, this amendment had to be introduced at a later stage in the Bill’s passage.

Both environmental non-governmental organisations and parts of industry have responded positively to this change in legislation. The Seal Research Trust said this would improve the welfare of seals. Parts of industry highlighted the potential future importance of the US market.

Amendments 98 and 100 extend specific existing exceptions from landing obligations in the north-western waters and the North Sea respectively so that they apply until 31 December 2021. Two new exemptions are also introduced relating to Norway lobster in the North Sea, replacing an existing exemption and an exemption for plaice in the North Sea that will also be implemented by the EU from January.

These exemptions are supported by scientific evidence collected by the EU’s Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries, which we considered with our world-class scientists in Cefas. We have been clear that scientific evidence will underpin our future fisheries management policies. This particular science and analysis were only available after Report stage in your Lordships’ House.

The other part of Amendment 100 enables the UK to adopt its own conservation measures for North Sea cod from next year, which will apply to all vessels fishing in UK waters by revoking provisions in retained EU law.

Turning to the more minor and technical amendments agreed by the other place, Amendment 8 inserts “sea fishing” to clarify the scope of regulation-making powers under Clauses 36 and 38. Amendment 17 makes a small change to the definition of “minimum conservation reference size” to make clear that it aligns with the widely accepted approach. Amendment 28 removes the Lords privilege amendment. This is a routine procedural issue. Finally, Amendments 78 and 79 update references to two regulations that have been replaced.

The Bill has been enhanced by these changes, ensuring we have the necessary legislation in place to develop our approach to future fisheries management. I beg to move.

Lord Teverson Portrait Lord Teverson (LD)
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What a delicious irony, as the noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Whitchurch, said. We were told that this Bill could not be amended by ourselves due to devolution—look at all the amendments here—and now we have found out the United States can change this Bill but we cannot. It is a great irony, and interesting arguments about territoriality are coming out. What is interesting is that there is no better ammunition than this to show, if we have a trade deal with the United States, that we should not be having chlorinated chicken or the other things we talk about, given that we have had to concede on seal welfare—not that I do not welcome sea welfare.

What I welcome in particular is the transparency element that comes in. This is important for making it absolutely clear who receives grant schemes or other schemes to help the industry, as any other industry, and how those are received, so we can have a good audit of that process. I welcome that very much.

In terms of the landing in north-west waters, that is an illustration where I agree with the Government. There has to be pragmatism around how we operate the landing of fish. That is why making the detail of that in future, as we discussed in the last group, will be quite complex but essential. Do I take it from that that the exemption is for only one year? Is that exemption there only until the Government have decided what the broader landing rules are? That is my real question.

Lord Grantchester Portrait Lord Grantchester (Lab)
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I thank the Minister for his introduction to this group of amendments and for the letter dated 3 November explaining the Commons amendments to your Lordships’ House, where the Bill started. Many of these amendments followed up on suggestions and inquiries initiated here, which the Government have had time to consider further during the Summer Recess, including in several consultations.

Once again, this House had a serious impact, delivering improvements to government legislation. These amendments provide examples of that work and could be categorised as important but may be more minor policy changes, drafting improvements and corrections.

Amendment 2 is one such amendment where, following probing, the initial provision for publication of the joint fisheries statement was set at 18 months after Royal Assent. The new proposal is to extend this to 24 months, as the noble Lord said. The pandemic and a succession of pre-election purdahs have resulted in slippages. I am glad that the Government have been able to be realistic—something it is often difficult to praise them for. However, having said that, it is frustrating that we will not get to see the outcome of that process for quite a while. Perhaps the Government will not need all the extra time that they have given themselves; we remain ever hopeful.

Amendment 5 is another example where, following debates and then amendments in the Agriculture Bill, the Government have come forward to provide explicit clarity that this extra provision does not contravene compliance with data provisions in the GDPR. We welcome this consistency and Amendment 66, regarding Scotland, Amendment 67, regarding Wales and Amendment 68, regarding Northern Ireland, which follow up with the devolved Administrations.

Amendments 13 and 27 and new Schedule 9 in Amendment 77 on the conservation of seals would strengthen protections to comply with the US Marine Mammal Protection Act, as necessary before 1 March 2021 to be able to export fish products to America. While this provision gave rise to some controversy concerning seals specifically, I, like the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, pick up on the fact that to encourage exports the UK is prepared to change how it does business. However, when challenged on maintaining standards provisions on imported food in the Agriculture Bill, the Government claim that they cannot require compliance with UK provisions for imports. The shadow Secretary of State, Luke Pollard, mentioned trade from New Zealand, which does not have these added protections and from where we will continue to import product. Does the Minister see any double standard here?

He might like to dance on the head of a pin—we will enjoy that—saying that this compliance is with conservation of seals provisions, not food standards. What if there is any re-export of food products to the US? Alternatively, I recognise Monday’s conversion in the Agriculture Bill that, under CRaG amendments, it is now recognised that there will not be a non-regression of standards and the Government should no longer be peddling that line.

Amendment 17 is a further amendment of second thoughts on drafting. It would make a small change to the definition of “minimum conservation reference size” to specify individual fish in terms of their maturity size and not the size of the marine stock. We support this amendment and also support Amendment 8 in relation to sea fishing of boats. I note that Amendment 28 in this group removes financial privilege from the legislation as the Bill started in your Lordships’ House.

The remaining amendments are technical corrections and additions to Commission-delegated regulations, which will avoid further secondary orders. With those comments, we are entirely content with the amendments proposed.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
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My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lords, Lord Teverson and Lord Grantchester, for their welcome of these amendments.

I welcome the positivity from the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, on the importance of transparency. It is something that the Government have picked up on in terms of recognition. I again put on the record that all we—this Government and future Governments—do needs to be transparent as we seek to reassure everyone, including your Lordships, that we want to achieve success for the marine environment.

I welcome the noble Lord’s point about pragmatism. The exemption is in place only for one year. We are reviewing our future discards policy and considering how it could be better made to fit the mixed fisheries in UK seas.

Given the time allocated, I am not sure that I want to jest about the Agriculture Bill and some of the exchanges we may have. Of course, I am bound to say that, as everyone knows, there is a considerable legislative framework behind which we are all secure in terms of import standards and requirements in relation to agricultural goods—but perhaps we might leave that for a further moment.

I say to the noble Lord, Lord Grantchester, that we will publicly consult on the JFS next year so I am certainly not looking at needing to wait as long as might have been suggested—two years—before anyone sees it. Drafts are being shared at a high level. Again, it is important that, as we move forward on all these matters, Parliament and your Lordships’ House do the right thing. In the end, if we do not get this right, we will have failed; that is not something that any Government would wish to do with their custodianship of our seas and the opportunities that this responsibility presents to us.

With those comments and the general endorsement of the two noble Lords, I beg to move.

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall) (Lab)
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My Lords, I have received no requests to ask a short question. I beg your pardon. The noble Lord, Lord Teverson, wishes to ask a question.

Lord Teverson Portrait Lord Teverson (LD)
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My Lords, I will not detain the House. I have a quick question that arose from a question from the noble Lord, Lord Grantchester. Will extending the timeframe of the joint fisheries statement to 24 months have a knock-on effect on fisheries management plans? I just want to check with the Minister that that delay will not cause everything else to be delayed. I apologise for not asking this earlier.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
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My Lords, so that I do not mislead the noble Lord, I will write to him about that. Triggering work on the fisheries management plans is another stream of work; a response may come. As it has not, the easiest thing is for me to write to the noble Lord. It is an important point and I am sorry that I do not have the answer before me.

Motion on Amendment 2 agreed.

Motion on Amendments 3 to 5

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
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Moved by

That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments 3 to 5.

3: Clause 18, page 13, line 33, leave out Clause 18

4: Clause 27, page 18, line 7, leave out Clause 27

5: Clause 35, page 24, line 15, at end insert—“(c) require the Secretary of State, or another person, to publish specified information about financial assistance given in accordance with the scheme.(4A) In subsection (4)(c) “specified” means specified by the scheme; and information that may be specified under that provision includes information about—(a) the recipient of the financial assistance;(b) the amount of the financial assistance;(c) the purpose for which the financial assistance was given.(4B) The scheme may not impose a duty to publish information where its publication would (taking the duty into account) contravene the data protection legislation (within the meaning of the Data Protection Act 2018).”

Motion on Amendments 3 to 5 agreed.

Motion on Amendment 6

Moved by

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
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That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment 6.

6: Clause 39, page 27, leave out lines 5 to 8

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist Portrait Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist (Con)
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My Lords, noble Lords will be aware that we have worked closely with the devolved Administrations in the development of the Bill. This has led to various requests from them for additions to the Bill, many of which could otherwise have been made under their own legislation. The department’s preference is to be collaborative and constructive when working with the devolved Administrations. Given the pressure that parliamentary timetables are facing it was felt that, in this spirit of co-operation, the Government should make these changes for them. These amendments support a collaborative approach to fisheries management across the UK.

We have waited until now to make these changes as we wanted to ensure that the devolved Administrations’ legislative consent processes had been successfully completed before tabling some of these amendments. It was not until Report in the other House that all three DAs consented to the Bill, allowing for the other place to agree a package of amendments relating to the DAs. The amendments relating to the devolved Administrations’ functions can be divided into seven themes, and I shall explain what each theme does.

At the request of all three Administrations, Amendment 10 and consequential Amendments 23 and 40 will enable a sea fish licensing authority to exercise fisheries and related product movement functions on behalf of another such authority. This would facilitate arrangements for one Administration to become a single point of contact for the fishing industry, or to deliver a speedy process on behalf of the other Administrations. This could be used, for example, in relation to verifying catch certificates. Consequential Amendments 6, 15 and 16, 18 to 20, 41, 69, 71 and 75 move definitions so that they apply across the whole Bill.

Turning to technical SI extensions to foreign boats, the Scottish Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, or DAERA, requested that we extend technical fisheries management measures in some of their secondary legislation to foreign boats, as provided for in Amendment 39. Amendments 29 to 38 make consequential changes to Schedule 4 as a result of Amendment 39. These regulations help protect vulnerable stocks, for example by prohibiting the catching of undersized fish. This is in line with our policy of ensuring that any foreign boats given access to UK waters comply with restrictions that apply to UK boats. Similar provisions have been made in Schedule 2 for England and Wales statutory instruments. Noble Lords will understand the pressures of getting the statute book updated in readiness for the end of the transition period. It would have been very challenging for the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive to have delivered these changes to secondary legislation themselves.

As for procedural changes, at the request of the Scottish Government, Amendment 43 and consequential Amendment 25 confirm that orders made under Section 22A of the Sea Fish (Conservation) Act 1967 can be made under the negative procedure, which is not clear under the current drafting. At the request of Scottish Government lawyers, and following advice from UK Government lawyers, these changes are applied retrospectively to remove any uncertainty about the effect of existing Scottish statutory instruments.

Turning to Wales, the definition change and Senedd competence, Amendments 12 and 24 reflect a change requested by the Welsh Government to the definition of “Wales” in primary legislation, consequential on the extension of Welsh competence provided by the Bill in relation to the offshore zone. Additionally, Amendments 7 and 73 clarify that where the Senedd has legislative competence, subject to the consent of a Minister of the Crown, Welsh Ministers will also have equivalent executive competence, subject to the consent of the Secretary of State. Amendment 72 clarifies that the scope of the Welsh Ministers’ powers to make regulations under Clauses 36 and 38 is specific to sea fishing.

Regarding DAERA marine powers and other technical changes to Schedule 10, Amendment 85 and consequential Amendments 86 to 88, 90, 91 and 93 to 96 provide DAERA with the power to manage fishing activity in the Northern Ireland offshore region for the purpose of conserving the marine environment. Similar provision for England and the other devolved Administrations is in Schedule 10. At their request, we are also making minor changes to the powers of the Scottish and Welsh Ministers in Schedule 10 in government Amendments 80 to 84, 89 and 92. These include changes to the parliamentary procedure for some orders and adding time limits to emergency orders made by Scottish Ministers.

In conclusion, I am pleased that the devolved Administrations have now consented to the Bill, which is an excellent example of collaborative working. I hope noble Lords will appreciate the need for this package of amendments agreed to in the other place, which supports the alignment of fisheries management across the UK. I beg to move.

Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Portrait Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville (LD) [V]
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My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for her introduction to this hefty group of amendments. These amendments deal with requests from the devolved Administrations, as she said. Most are consequential on four main amendments. Like the noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Whitchurch, I am interested in the way the devolved Administrations have amended the Bill, when during our debates in Committee and on Report we were told that there could be no amendments that might affect the devolved Administrations.

The main amendments are Amendments 10, 12, 39 and 85, alongside a raft of minor drafting amendments. Amendment 10 and the amendments consequential on it—Amendments 15 and 16, 18 to 20, 23, 40 and 41, 69, 71 and 75—provide arrangements for a sea fish licensing authority, which is the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Ministers, the Northern Ireland department and the MMO. We support these. Amendments 12 and 24 are consequential on Clause 43 and relate to the interpretation of the Welsh legislation, in both English and Welsh, and to the offshore zone, subject to the Secretary of State’s approval.

Amendment 39, which is extremely important, inserts legislation relating to several regulations affecting shellfish, scallops, sharks, skates and rays, razor clams, et cetera, in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Amendments 29 to 38 are consequential on Amendment 39. The fish and shellfish in the list in this amendment are nearly all endangered in one way or another, and it is important that there is transparency over their protection and that they are not overfished or taken undersized, as the Minister said. The list is extensive; as it is at the request of the devolved Administrations, we are happy to support these amendments, but we make the point that these fish and shellfish need to be sustainable and their stocks carefully monitored.

Amendment 85 and consequential amendments insert new powers into the Schedule for the Northern Ireland department relating to exploitation of sea fishery resources in its offshore region. This also includes consultation with the Secretary of State, the MMO, and Scottish and Welsh Ministers. Consultation has risen rapidly up the fishing agenda on a range of matters, and consultation with the devolved Administrations is essential. The sheer number of amendments we are debating today indicates that some of this can be very last minute—that is a bit of a danger. However, there are legitimate reasons for these amendments and for them being so late, so we support them, albeit at a somewhat late stage of the process.

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Portrait Baroness Jones of Whitchurch (Lab)
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I intend to speak quite briefly, but first, I thank the noble Baroness for her explanation of these changes. Having looked at the small, technical amendments in this group, I do not have a problem with them, but I return to the issue of devolution in the broadest sense. I raised earlier the issue that the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, raised: because it has now been raised several times, it would be helpful if the Minister would explain why we were told that the Bill was a done deal with the devolved nations and could not be amended, when it seems, quite understandably, that negotiations have been ongoing, as evidenced obviously by the amendments before us today. It leaves a slightly sour taste because it feels as if we were slightly misled about the process that was taking place. Can she clarify that for us?

It is not surprising that the Government have continued to meet with the devolved nations, and we welcome that. But, if that were the case and it was an ongoing process, why could not some of our earlier amendments have been fed into that consultation process, considered and dealt with in that broad and positive way, rather than being blocked? I would genuinely like an answer to that, because we want to work constructively, going forward.

The other part is that what has been happening seems rather odd. Can the Minister explain what timeframes were given to the devolved nations? Were they told what the deadlines were to feed in comments and make interventions? It is not ideal for these things to come to us so late, so I would like a bit more information on what was happening in the background to all this.

Thirdly, some of the amendments are quite substantial, as we can see from the detail listed, and they have consequences for the devolved nations. In the Commons, the Minister Victoria Prentis made the point that was echoed by the noble Baroness today that this is all the product of collaborative and constructive working. Similarly to the noble Baroness, she went on to say:

“Many are amendments that the devolved Administrations could have made themselves, but given the pressures on all the parliamentary timetables in the run-up to the end of the transition period, we felt that in a spirit of co-operation we should, if possible, make these changes for them.”—[Official Report, Commons, 13/10/20; col. 264.]

As the Minister has confirmed, it was decided that, for example, because the Scottish fisheries Bill has now finished all its stages, we would slip it into the UK legislation instead.

I feel a level of unease about this process. We have to be careful that our motives are not misinterpreted. It does not feel right just to look for a convenient bit of legislation, whether devolved or UK, and harness things to it. While there is nothing wrong with the clauses, and I am sure they have been through the proper scrutiny process, we need to be clear about how devolved decision-making will play out in the future and where responsibilities lie. That is particularly important for the people affected by these changes, who need to understand who is making the decisions and where to find the detail of that legislation.

I ask the Minister to confirm that this was just a one-off and is not intended to be a regular occurrence. As I say, I have a sense of unease about what has happened here. I am not going to say any more about it. I am pleased that constructive discussions are taking place, but just wanted to raise a note of caution. Perhaps the noble Baroness could respond.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist Portrait Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist (Con)
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My Lords, there has been much debate on the challenges posed by devolution in previous stages of the Bill, and the amendments made for the devolved Administrations in the other place demonstrate opportunities that will be open to us in the future to work positively across the four nations of the UK. I acknowledge the concerns of the noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Whitchurch, but genuinely feel that this was a timing issue. As the Fisheries Bill was introduced in this House, it gave us more time to introduce them at this stage, when it came back to us, once conversations had concluded and after it became clear that there would be no time for the devolved Administrations to pass their own legislation, and we would therefore be in a position to do so on their behalf.

I am grateful for the comments from the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, and for her support. I am particularly grateful for her comments on Amendment 39. The whole intention of extending this list is for us to preserve stocks from an extensive list of species. I am glad that, through constructive and collaborative working with the devolved Administrations, we have been able to deliver a Bill that is truly for the whole UK. I beg to move.

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall) (Lab)
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My Lords, I have received a request to ask a short question of elucidation from the noble Lord, Lord Adonis. Lord Adonis?

I have to inform the House that the noble Lord, Lord Adonis, is proposing to speak in Grand Committee and his request has arrived, somewhat erratically, at the wrong Chamber.

Oh!

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall) (Lab)
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It was a moment of puzzlement for me, too. Given that, as far as I understand it, we have no other questions for the Minister, I will proceed to put the Question.

Motion on Amendment 6 agreed.

Motion on Amendments 7 and 8

Moved by

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments 7 and 8.

7: Clause 41, page 28, line 24, after “Senedd Cymru” insert “(ignoring any requirement for the consent of a Minister of the Crown imposed under Schedule 7B to the Government of Wales Act 2006)”

8: Clause 41, page 28, line 31, after “of” insert “sea fishing by”

Motion on Amendments 7 and 8 agreed.

Motion on Amendment 9

Moved by

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment 9.

9: Clause 41, page 28, line 40, leave out from “State” to “under” in line 41 and insert “, or of any of the sea fish licensing authorities,”

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
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My Lords, four themes of the changes made by the Government relate to the Bill’s licensing provisions. I would like to make it clear why these changes were necessary and why they were made in the other place. Before I do so, I clarify for the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, today—if that is all right with your Lordships—that fisheries management plans will not be delayed and can be brought forward before the JFS is adopted. Clause 9 specifically provides for this. I am sorry; I should know the Bill better by now, but I hope that helps.

Government Amendments 11 and 26 are necessary to ensure we comply with the provisions of the treaty entered into with Denmark in 1999 on maritime delimitation between the United Kingdom and the Faroe Islands. That 1999 agreement provides for a special area in the UK exclusive economic zone, exclusively in Scottish waters, over which both parties exercise jurisdiction for fishery management purposes. The amendments to the Bill ensure that we can implement this treaty and meet that international agreement. They provide that Faroese-authorised foreign vessels can continue to fish in that area, which is 0.01% of the UK EEZ, without also requiring a UK licence. Were these amendments not made, we would not be able to implement the treaty, putting us in breach of our international obligations.

It was only through working on a new framework fisheries agreement with the Faroe Islands throughout this year that we were able to agree the approach to continued implementation of the 1999 treaty and to make these amendments. We have a very positive relationship with the Faroe Islands on improving the way the sea is managed and governed. International negotiations are reserved, but implementing international agreements, for example by licensing fishing boats, is a devolved matter. We have worked closely with officials and Minister Ewing in the Scottish Government, and colleagues across government, to come to an agreed approach that respects both reserved and devolved competence.

Amendments 44 to 63 introduce a contingency arrangement to issue approval for foreign fishing vessels more quickly and make a consequential wording change. The preferred approach is to issue individual licences to foreign vessels which, following negotiations, may fish in UK waters. Experience has shown that, sometimes, some annual fisheries negotiations can extend into the next fishing year. It could then take some time for the various parties to collate the information needed for the licensing process. During this time, fishing activities would be disrupted, which could cause unnecessary tensions. We do not want to exacerbate those tensions or disrupt fishing further. This is a pragmatic response to such a circumstance and has the support of the devolved Administrations.

To manage this, the other place agreed to introduce this contingency approach, which would allow approval to be issued for a list of vessels, rather than individual vessels. This approval would be faster, but time limited until individual licences can be issued.

Amendment 64 revokes legislation in England, Wales and Scotland made as a contingency in March 2019 in the absence of the Fisheries Bill and in anticipation of an earlier departure from the EU. The Northern Irish legislation has already been revoked. The Bill provides for the regulation of foreign boats fishing in UK waters if access is negotiated. All foreign vessels approved to fish in UK waters will need a UK licence. We waited until we thought we had certainty that the Bill would receive Royal Assent before the end of this year before making these amendments as its licensing regime replicates and supersedes that in the contingency SIs.

Amendment 99 and consequential Amendments 97 and 101 are clear examples of where close collaboration between the four fisheries administrations has proved invaluable in ensuring that the Bill is doing what it needs to. The amendment revokes Regulation (EU) 2017/2403 on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, known as SMEFF. This regulation sets out part of the EU’s licensing framework. This is broadly similar to the UK’s framework for licensing so there is no need for a parallel regime such as SMEFF. I am grateful to Scottish officials for identifying the need for this change. That is why the other place agreed to revoke it.

Finally, on minor and technical amendments relating to licensing, Amendments 9, 70, 74 and 76 make minor changes to provisions that prevent powers in Clauses 36, 38, and Schedule 8 being used to modify the Bill’s licensing functions. Amendment 65 clarifies licensing transitional provisions. Two amendments were also made at the request of the Crown dependencies to Schedule 4, which deals with minor and consequential licensing amendments.

These are the changes that have been needed to the Bill’s licensing provisions and why they were brought forward in the other place. I beg to move.

Lord Teverson Portrait Lord Teverson (LD)
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My Lords, I thank the Minister, because I had never heard of this 1999 treaty before. It is quite important because we are in the ratification process of a UK-Faroes fisheries agreement. I will raise one or two things about this which perhaps the Minister can explain to me.

Commons Amendment 11 is very strict. It says:

“No prohibition, restriction or obligation relating to sea fishing imposed by any enactment applies to … anything done or not done by or in relation to a foreign fishing boat”

that is a Faroe Islands-regulated vessel. Given that this is our EEZ, that seems to take away completely our rights to inspect or apply any regulation whatever to Faroes vessels fishing within our EEZ within this special zone. That seems a very asymmetric agreement or condition, given that our own vessels presumably still have to do that. Having read the treaty very quickly, Article IV says that we have no rights of inspection whatever. I am sure that the Government have this worked out but I would like to be reassured that we have some way of making sure that this area is responsibly fished. Occasionally, we have our disagreements with the Faroes. We generally have a good relationship with the Faroes, and obviously with Denmark as the ultimate sovereign nation. However, a couple of years ago we had a strong dispute over fisheries there regarding a particular species, so there are examples of the Faroes and us falling out. I would appreciate the Minister’s explanation of that.

I wished to bring up one other matter but I will leave it at that. That is my key issue on this area and I hope that the Minister will be able to help me.

Lord Grantchester Portrait Lord Grantchester (Lab)
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I thank the Minister for his introduction to this group of amendments and for his explanations. I am also grateful for the comments of the noble Lord, Lord Teverson. This group relates mainly to the carve-out for the Faroe Islands temporary foreign vessel licences and other minor technical provisions. Amendments 9, 70, 74 and 76 are technical and replace references to the devolved Ministers in Clause 41 with “sea fish licensing authorities” instead.

Amendment 11 and the consequential Amendment 26 update compliance with the 1999 treaty with Denmark and enable the Scottish Government to manage this shared area and issue licences to permitted foreign vessels as the Faroes, while in the UK’s exclusive economic zone, are exclusively in Scottish waters. I am not sure that there should be the difficulties that the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, envisages, but I await the Minister’s reply.

Amendment 44 and the bulk of the amendments in the sequence in the middle of this group concern the definition of “temporary foreign vessel licence” and how this will apply on a contingent basis when the UK becomes an independent coastal state with an agreement with the EU concerning the UK’s exclusive economic zone and licensing arrangements. Necessarily, this could take some time—meanwhile, fishers need to be able to continue activities. I agree that the flexibility this provides is commendable. In the Commons, the shadow Secretary of State Luke Pollard asked whether secondary legislation would need amendment to specify these arrangements. The Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis said that she would need to check this position. Will the Minister be able to confirm today that this has indeed been done and that no further orders are required?

The point of these provisions is made on the assumption that the UK will be able to negotiate a continuing relationship with the EU after 31 December this year. That is not that far in front of us. Many of us are beginning to count down the remaining parliamentary sitting days, during which timetable the various relevant trade treaties will need to be examined and approved by Parliament. On an earlier amendment, the noble Lord, Lord Lansley, spoke on the likely outcome of the way forward in relation to the landing requirement. The Minister replied that the Bill is neutral on any outcome of negotiation. I will not pursue this any further, as I sympathise with him when he says that any comment from him may not be helpful at this stage.

The remaining amendments are technical, tidying up various provisions. For example, Amendment 64 concerns the timing of differing legislation at different times of the tortuous Brexit debates. Amendments 21 and 42 concern provisions in Schedule 4 regarding the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and the extent of Section 2 of the Fishery Limits Act, as the Crown dependencies did not confirm their approach until the beginning of August. I am very glad that this bit was achieved with them. The remaining amendments tidy up retained direct EU legislation. This and all the amendments in this group are agreed.

We will all look forward to the necessary announcements on the conclusion of successful negotiations with the EU. I contend that they should now become easier following the amendments to the Agriculture Bill to secure a non-regression of standards so necessary to the attainment of a level playing field with Europe.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lords, Lord Teverson and Lord Grantchester. We are into a technical range of amendments. The noble Lord, Lord Teverson, asked about the Faroe Islands. While the 1999 treaty permits either party to license foreign vessels to fish in this small section of shared sea, it does not mean that there are no rules. Many of the licence conditions will be similar for either party issuing a licence. The UK will still exercise standard control and enforcement. The 1999 treaty also includes a commitment by both parties to co-operate on marine protection measures which further preserve this area.

Considerable work has been done. Certain discussions could obviously be undertaken only once we had left the EU, so negotiations with the Faroe Islands Administration have been taking place this year. I reassure your Lordships that in no way does this mean that there is not proper responsible control. As I said in my opening remarks, we are working with the Faroe Islands because both countries share an ambition for strong governance and custodianship of what is a very small but very important part of our UK EEZ. We should be consistent throughout.

I will look at any further points, but I am not going to embark on any commentary on negotiations and standards. This has been well and truly aired. Standards are supreme.

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall) (Lab)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I have two requests to ask short questions of the Minister. Both noble Lords are in the Chamber. I call the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh of Pickering.

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Portrait Baroness McIntosh of Pickering (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I am here because of the problems I experienced with my microphone yesterday. I have two brief questions for my noble friend. I am half-Danish, so I welcome anything that can be done to help the Faroese. Does he not share my concern that this agreement with the Faroes is completely asymmetrical? The noble Lord, Lord Teverson might also have made this point. From memory of the rollover trade agreement, we export £90 million of goods to them and they export £270 million of products to us—most of which are fish. This will not help Scottish and other fishermen in this country. I agree to it, but we must accept that it is asymmetrical and not in the country’s best interests.

I have a hazy recollection of studying international law at university—just after we joined the European Union. Denmark has always claimed historic rights to fish in the North Sea. I understood—from an impeccable source at the Daily Express—that it has been preparing a case to put, presumably, before the International Court of Justice to maintain those historic rights. I am not expecting my noble friend to reply today—he may wish to write to me and share it with other colleagues. Is he aware of this hazy recollection of mine that the Danes had historic fishing rights and that they are going to resurrect them?

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, we agreed to a treaty in 1999. We have worked closely with Minister Ewing, who is quite rightly ferocious in his support of Scottish fishing interests. We are working collaboratively with the Faroe Islands, respecting an international arrangement. On the historic rights, as I am not the Fisheries Minister but a custodian of this Bill I am not aware of any illegal activity. I had better write to my noble friend so that those who know can give an authorised version.

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall) (Lab)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I call the noble Lord, Lord Lansley, to ask the next short question of the Minister.

Lord Lansley Portrait Lord Lansley (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am a member of the EU International Agreements Sub-Committee of your Lordships’ House. We are spending a lot of time not only looking at the content of treaties, but also understanding how these are implemented into domestic legislation. I am confused. Can my noble friend explain how the 1999 treaty to which this refers was implemented into domestic legislation? Why did this not lead directly to its continuation or amendment? This is the second time we have looked at this Bill; in the first draft, licensing of fishing boats in our EEZ was considered.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I may need to clarify this again. We were not able to open discussions with the Faroe Islands while we were still members of the EU. It was only in January 2020—at the same time as the Bill was introduced—that we were able to begin discussions and explore options to implement this change. I am not an expert on the 1999 legislation. It would be more helpful to my noble friend if I wrote to him with a detailed answer.

Motion on Amendment 9 agreed.

Motion on Amendments 10 to 13

Moved by

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments 10 to 13.

10: Before Clause 45, insert the following new Clause—

“Agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities

(1) A sea fish licensing authority may make arrangements for—

(a) any of its fisheries functions, or

(b) any of its product movement functions that are not fisheries functions,

to be exercised on its behalf by another sea fish licensing authority.

(2) Arrangements made by a sea fish licensing authority under subsection (1) in relation to a function do not affect that authority’s responsibility for the exercise of the function.

(3) A sea fish licensing authority that exercises functions on behalf of another sea fish licensing authority under subsection (1) may charge that other authority such fees as it considers reasonable in respect of the cost of doing so.

(4) Subsection (1) does not authorise the making of arrangements in relation to any function of making, confirming or approving subordinate legislation.

(5) The power of a sea fish licensing authority to make arrangements under subsection (1) does not affect, and is not affected by, any other power of the authority to make arrangements relating to the exercise of its functions by other persons on its behalf.

(6) In this section—

“fisheries function” means a function relating to fisheries, fishing or aquaculture;

“product movement function” means a function relating to the movement of fishery products—

(a) into or out of the United Kingdom, or

(b) within the United Kingdom.”

11: Insert the following new Clause—

“Foreign fishing boats that are exclusively Faroe Islands-regulated

(1) No prohibition, restriction or obligation relating to sea fishing imposed by any enactment applies to—

(a) anything done or not done by or in relation to a foreign fishing boat at a time at which the fishing boat is in waters lying within the Special Area and is exclusively Faroe Islands-regulated, or

(b) anything done or not done in relation to sea fish that were caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying within the Special Area at a time at which the fishing boat was exclusively Faroe Islands regulated.

(2) For the purposes of this section a foreign fishing boat is “exclusively Faroe Islands-regulated” if—

(a) there is in force a licence issued by or on behalf of the Government of the Faroe Islands authorising it to fish in waters lying (to any extent) within the Special Area, and

(b) the fishing boat is not on a list maintained and published by the Scottish Ministers for the purposes of this subsection.

(3) In this section—

(a) “enactment” has the same meaning as in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and includes an enactment contained in or made under this Act;

(b) “the Special Area” means the Special Area, as defined in Article 4 of, and Schedule C to, the Faroe Islands Treaty;

(c) “the Faroe Islands Treaty” means the agreement between—

(i) the Government of the United Kingdom, and

(ii) the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark together with the Home Government of the Faroe Islands,

relating to the maritime delimitation in the area between the Faroe

Islands and the United Kingdom, entered into on 18 May 1999.”

12: After Clause 45, insert the following new Clause—

“Interpretation of Welsh legislation

(1) In the Interpretation Act 1978, section 23B (application of Interpretation Act 1978 to Welsh legislation), as substituted by paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 to the Legislation (Wales) Act 2019 (anaw 4), is amended in accordance with subsections (2) and (3).

(2) In subsection (6), for “and “Wales”” substitute “, “Welsh zone” and (subject to subsection (7)) “Wales””.

(3) After subsection (6) insert—

“(7) In relation to a provision that—

(a) relates to fishing, fisheries or fish health, and

(b) is contained in an instrument made after section 45 of the

Fisheries Act 2020 comes into force,

“Wales” includes the area of the Welsh zone beyond the seaward limit of the territorial sea.”

(4) The Legislation (Wales) Act 2019 (anaw 4) is amended in accordance with subsections (5) to (8).

(5) In section 1(3)(d) (duty to keep accessibility of Welsh law under review)—

(a) in the English language text, omit “applies in relation to Wales and relates to subject matter which”;

(b) in the Welsh language text, omit “y mae’n gymwys o ran Cymru ac y mae’n ymwneud â phwnc”.

(6) In section 3 (legislation to which Part 2 of the Act applies), after subsection (3)

(a)in the English language text, insert—

“(4) In relation to subordinate legislation that relates to fishing, fisheries or fish health and is made after section 45 of the Fisheries Act 2020 (c. 00) comes into force, the reference in subsection (2)(b)(iii) to Wales includes the area of the Welsh zone beyond the seaward limits of the territorial sea.”;

(b) in the Welsh language text, insert—

“(4) Mewn perthynas ag is-ddeddfwriaeth sy’n ymwneud â physgota, pysgodfeydd neu iechyd pysgod ac a wneir ar ôl i adran 45 o Ddeddf Pysgodfeydd 2020 (p. 00) ddod i rym, mae’r cyfeiriad yn is-adran (2)(b)(iii) at Gymru yn cynnwys yr ardal o barth Cymru sydd y tu hwnt i derfynau atfor y môr tiriogaethol.”

(7) After section 40

(a) in the English language text insert—

“40A Application of this Part in relation to the Welsh zone

In relation to subordinate legislation that relates to fishing, fisheries or fish health, references in this Part to Wales include the area of the Welsh zone beyond the seaward

limits of the territorial sea.”;

(b) in the Welsh language text insert—

“40A Cymhwyso’r Rhan hon mewn perthynas â pharth Cymru

Mewn perthynas ag is-ddeddfwriaeth sy’n ymwneud â physgota, pysgodfeydd neu iechyd pysgod, mae cyfeiriadau yn y Rhan hon at Gymru yn cynnwys yr ardal o barth Cymru sydd y tu hwnt i derfynau atfor y môr tiriogaethol.”

(8) In Schedule 1, in the Table—

(a) in the English language text, after the entry for “Welsh tribunal (tribiwnlys Cymreig)” insert—

“Welsh zone (parth Cymru)“Welsh zone” has the meaning given by section 158 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (c. 32) (and see article 3 of the Welsh Zone (Boundaries and Transfer of Functions) Order 2010 (S.I. 2010/ 760), which makes provision about the limits of the zone)”;(b) in the Welsh language text, after the entry for “offeryn UE (EU instrument)” insert—

“Welsh zone (parth Cymru)

“Welsh zone” has the meaning given by section 158 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (c. 32) (and see article 3 of the Welsh Zone (Boundaries and Transfer of Functions) Order 2010 (S.I. 2010/ 760), which makes provision about the limits of the zone)”;

“parth Cymru (Welsh zone)mae i “parth Cymru” yr ystyr a roddir i “Welsh zone” gan adran 158 o Ddeddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006 (p. 32) (a gweler erthygl 3 o Orchymyn Parth Cymru (Ffiniau a Throsglwyddo Swyddogaethau) 2010 (O.S. 2010/760), sy’n gwneud darpariaeth ynghylch terfynau’r parth)”.”

“parth Cymru (Welsh zone)

mae i “parth Cymru” yr ystyr a roddir i “Welsh zone” gan adran 158 o Ddeddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006 (p. 32) (a gweler erthygl 3 o Orchymyn Parth Cymru (Ffiniau a Throsglwyddo Swyddogaethau) 2010 (O.S. 2010/760), sy’n gwneud darpariaeth ynghylch terfynau’r parth)”.”

13: After Clause 45, insert the following new Clause—

“Conservation of Seals

Schedule (conservation of seals) contains amendments of the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 (1985/171 (N.I. 2)) in connection with prohibiting the killing, injuring or taking of seals.”

Motion on Amendments 10 to 13 agreed.

Motion on Amendment 14

Moved by

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment 14.

14: Clause 48, page 31, line 20, leave out Clause 48

Motion 14A (as an amendment to the Motion on Amendment 14) not moved.

Motion on Amendment 14 agreed.

Motion on Amendments 15 to 21

Moved by

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments 15 to 21.

15: Clause 49, page 32, leave out lines 16 and 17

16: Clause 51, page 34, line 40, at end insert—

““fishery products” means—

(a) fish or other aquatic organisms resulting from fishing or aquaculture, or

(b) products derived from aquatic organisms within paragraph

(a);”

17: Clause 51, page 35 leave out lines 26 to 28 and insert—

““minimum conservation reference size”, in relation to an aquatic organism, means the size of a member of the species of which the organism is a member, at the level of maturity of that organism, below which capture or retention is prohibited or restricted;”

18: Clause 51, page 35, line 28, at end insert—

““Minister of the Crown” has the same meaning as in the Ministers of the Crown Act 1975 (see section 8(1) of that Act);”

19: Clause 51, page 36, line 9, at end insert—

““sea fish licensing authority” means—

(a) the Scottish Ministers,

(b) the Welsh Ministers,

(c) the Northern Ireland department, or

(d) the Marine Management Organisation;”

20: Clause 51, page 36, line 24, at end insert—

““subordinate legislation” means an instrument made under primary legislation or under retained direct EU legislation;”

21: Clause 52, page 37, line 3, leave out “revocation made by paragraph 5” and insert “repeals and revocations made by paragraphs 3 to 5” 22 Page 37, line 4, at end insert—

“(6) Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide for the following provisions of this Act to extend, with or without modifications, to any of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man—

(a) subsection (1)(a) of section 38 (power to make provision for the purpose of implementing international obligations),

(b) subsections (4) to (6) of that section,

(c) section 39 (interpretation of section 38),

(d) sections 41 to 43 (regulations under section 36: scope and procedure),

(e) section 50 (regulations), and

(f) section 51 (interpretation).”

Motion on Amendments 15 to 21 agreed.

Motion on Amendment 22

Moved by

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment 22.

22: Clause 52, page 37, line 4, at end insert—

“(6) Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide for the following provisions of this Act to extend, with or without modifications, to any of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man—

(a) subsection (1)(a) of section 38 (power to make provision for the purpose of implementing international obligations),

(b) subsections (4) to (6) of that section,

(c) section 39 (interpretation of section 38),

(d) sections 41 to 43 (regulations under section 36: scope and procedure),

(e) section 50 (regulations), and

(f) section 51 (interpretation).”

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, this clause enables the UK to extend to the Crown dependencies by way of Order in Council the power of the Secretary of State to make regulations for the purpose of implementing international obligations relating to fisheries, fishing or aquaculture.

The UK Government, on behalf of the Crown, are responsible for the international relations of the Crown dependencies. The Government are responsible for representing them at an international level for their obligations under international law. The purpose of this clause is to ensure that we can support the Crown dependencies to meet their international obligations.

This debate comes at a time when the Crown dependencies are developing their own international identities in accordance with the directions of their Governments and of formal frameworks agreed between them and the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the UK remains responsible for the Crown dependencies’ fisheries obligations under international law.

This clause is not a means of imposing legislation unnecessarily on the Crown dependencies. It is for the benefit and protection of the UK and the Crown dependencies in relation to international obligations in the highly unlikely event that it were needed. It applies solely to the part of Clause 36 which concerns the power to make regulations implementing international obligations relating to fisheries, fishing or aquaculture. It enables us to meet our responsibilities and obligations in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Taylor of Bolton, for her letter of 28 October, on behalf of the Constitution Committee. The committee published its views on the clause on 9 November, following my response to her letter. The committee makes some important points on which I should like to respond.

First, the committee says:

“The Government should seek powers only when they are necessary and their use is anticipated”.

Such an approach is entirely appropriate in the majority of cases. The inclusion of a permissive extent clause in primary legislation is not uncommon. It is used to help provide support or act as a safety net. For example, the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 provides for marine licensing provisions to be extended to Jersey by Order in Council. However, the reason for introducing this clause is to enable us to act in the most unexpected and unforeseen of circumstances. Having legal and constitutional clarity is an important responsibility for the Government to deliver.

I would like to make it clear that we do not doubt the seriousness with which the Crown dependencies treat their international obligations. They have a strong track record of fulfilling them. To that end, they can introduce domestic policy and legislation through proper parliamentary processes within their jurisdictions. It can be done swiftly when required. There is an example from earlier this year when the Bailiwick of Guernsey legislated within two weeks to introduce an authorisation regime to support fisheries arrangements with France.

However, one action taken by a part of the UK or any of its Crown dependencies can affect the rest. There is precedent for vessels from the British family being denied access to fisheries. Our fisheries exports could be banned from overseas markets if any part of the British family were considered not to be upholding its international obligations to fish legally and sustainably. We do not have any specific concerns where we envisage the use of the permissive extent clause at present. Nevertheless, by introducing this clause, the Government ensure that they could act should those most unexpected of circumstances arise.

Secondly, the committee says that this clause

“undermines the domestic autonomy of the Crown Dependencies and is contrary to long-standing practice.”

The Government are committed to the Crown dependencies’ centuries-old and evolving constitutional relationship with the Crown. They are committed to the long-standing constitutional convention that the UK does not impose legislation on the Crown dependencies, or otherwise become involved in areas of their own domestic autonomy, without their consent, other than in the most exceptional of circumstances.

The key rationale for introducing this clause is that the Government are responsible for the Crown dependencies’ international relations. In that regard, it is right in this set of circumstances that the Government should have the legal power to become involved in exceptional situations and as a matter of last resort. Should such a situation arise, concerns raised by the Crown dependencies on the use of this clause would of course be taken very seriously and would be responded to in a reasonable way.

As your Lordships may be aware, the Government secured consent from the Isle of Man to the inclusion of the permissive extent clause in the Bill, but Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey did not agree to the inclusion of this clause by the final amending stage of the Bill, so the Government took the decision to proceed without their agreement. This was not a decision the Government took lightly.

I assure your Lordships and the Crown dependencies that Defra would do its utmost to work with them to secure a mutually agreeable outcome should a situation in which we might need to use powers under the permissive extent clause ever arise. As the noble Lord, Lord Beith, said in his very helpful report from 2014, Crown Dependencies: Developments since 2010,

“It is important that the Crown Dependencies are consulted about policy changes which affect them in time to put their point of view.”

I wholly support that view.

My honourable friend the Fisheries Minister, Victoria Prentis, is discussing setting up a committee with the Crown dependencies, perhaps within the structure of the UK-Crown dependencies fisheries management agreements, to discuss implementation of international obligations. Such a committee could deal with issues that might lead to the activation of the permissive extent clause. It is not intended that this clause, and the regulation-making power it relates to, would be used to legislate for the Crown dependencies without their consent, unless it were to become necessary to implement an international obligation that applies to them. As I have said, this would only ever be as a last resort, after full consultation and the exhaustion of all other options.

I reiterate that if one part of the United Kingdom or the Crown dependencies do not meet their international obligations, they will potentially all be held accountable. This clause supports all three Crown dependencies. It supports the four nations of the UK by putting in place a safety mechanism to ensure we meet our responsibilities in adhering to international obligations. It is most certainly not an undue imposition on the Crown dependencies. It is designed to protect the British family.

I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Beith, and all noble Lords, will accept what I have explained—that this is a necessary addition, to which the House of Commons agreed. I hope that your Lordships will accept this position. This clause specifically and only relates to fisheries and meeting international agreements—for example, on sustainable fishing. This is an area in which I believe that we must be able, in particular, to meet our responsibilities in terms of international law. For those reasons, I beg to move.

Motion 22A (as an amendment to the Motion on Amendment 22)

Moved by

Lord Beith Portrait Lord Beith
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Leave out “agree” and insert “disagree”.

Lord Beith Portrait Lord Beith (LD) [V]
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am grateful to the Minister for his careful explanation, and for dwelling on some of the constitutional aspects of the matter, but I am still moving Motion 22A, in my name, that this House disagrees with Commons Amendment 22, introducing, as it does, a power for Ministers to apply sections of the Fisheries Bill to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man without their consent.

It came as an unpleasant surprise when the new clause appeared at such a late stage in the Bill’s progress. As the Minister indicated, my interest in such matters dates from work I did on the 2010 and 2014 Justice Committee reports on the Crown dependencies, which analysed, assessed and promoted the modern relationship between the UK and the dependencies. In every relevant respect, that 2010 report was accepted by the Government of the day.

The report set out a relationship that respected the legislative autonomy of the dependencies, which would not normally be the subject of Westminster legislation unless they wished to be. Along with that went a policy of increasing entrustment, enabling the dependencies to develop their relations with the wider world, including, in the case of the Channel Islands, their very close neighbours in France.

The UK, of which the Crown dependencies are not, and never have been, a part, remains responsible for international treaty obligations of the dependencies. The framework agreements were put in to ensure that this could be done effectively, while respecting their autonomy. I shall quote from the Guernsey agreement of 2006, but the other dependencies have similar agreements. Paragraph 13 of that agreement says:

“Guernsey has an international identity which is different from that of the UK.”

The agreement continues:

“The UK recognises that Guernsey is a long-standing, small democracy and supports the principle of Guernsey further developing its international identity … The UK has a role to play in assisting the development of Guernsey’s international identity. The role is one of support not interference … Guernsey and the UK commit themselves to open, effective and meaningful dialogue with each other on any issue that may come to affect the constitutional relationship … International identity is developed effectively through meeting international standards and obligations which are important components of Guernsey’s international identity … The UK will clearly identify its priorities for delivery of its international obligations and agreements so that these are understood, and can be taken into account by Guernsey developing its own position.”

A key question for the Minister is: do the present UK Government stand by that agreement? The clause suggests otherwise. It represents a threat to impose Westminster legislation when there are adequate means available to resolve differences when they arise. The best way is bilateral discussion, in which the UK is clearly in a strong position, given its size and resources. In any case, the islands themselves have a strong commitment to maintain their British identity, and their international reputation for good government and good faith.

Alongside all that is the requirement that island legislation requires Royal Assent, and therefore is considered at Privy Council level in the UK. That is a mechanism by which the UK seeks to make sure that international obligations are satisfied. The processes have worked, and they have resolved issues. I am not aware of any significant outstanding issues that the process has not coped with.

However, the clause says, “We’re not sure we can trust you, and if we think it’s necessary we will, without your consent, legislate from Westminster to override your legislative jurisdiction.” The Government may say—indeed, they have said, and they are saying it again today—that this is extremely unlikely, but the possibility has already been noticed by the French media, and that could undermine the Bailiwick of Guernsey, or Jersey, in their discussions with their close neighbours.

The Minister quoted the Constitution Committee. Its report, which is critical of the clause, states:

“We are not persuaded of the necessity of Commons amendment 22.”

The Minister’s letter said that the Government

“do not currently have any specific concerns which we would envisage using”,

the clause to address. The committee then stated in response that the Government,

“should seek powers only when they are necessary and their use is anticipated.”

The Minister also quoted that. The Committee in paragraph 9 states that the Commons amendment,

“undermines the domestic autonomy of the Crown Dependencies and is contrary to long-standing practice.”

We are left with a clause that the Government say they have no plans to use but hold as a threat. That reverses the trend towards greater recognition of the dependencies’ autonomy and entrustment in their international relations.

My final questions are these: is there intended to be a change of constitutional policy towards the Crown dependencies such that a power to extend Westminster legislation without consent will become a feature in more UK legislation and, if so, why are the Government not more interested in a wider discussion of such a fundamental change in policy and the constitutional relationship? Or have they stumbled into an unnecessary row because someone somewhere in Defra, who has always wanted the department to have that power, got it out of the drawer and into this legislation? I have a strong suspicion the latter might be the reason.

I note the Government’s proposal for a mechanism for discussions in the context of marine management with the dependencies. Welcome though they might be, they do not make any difference to the fundamental constitutional issue. The Government surely have enough problems to tackle without picking an unnecessary quarrel with our loyal friends in the Channel Islands. I know that the Minister who is responding today, the noble Lord, Lord Gardiner, is not one for picking quarrels. He should see what he can do to bring this quarrel to an end.

Lord Lexden Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Lexden) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The following Members in the Chamber have indicated that they wish to speak: the noble Lords, Lord Anderson of Ipswich and Lord Faulkner of Worcester, the noble Baroness, Lady Couttie, and the noble Lords, Lord Northbrook and Lord Pannick. I will call them in order.

Lord Anderson of Ipswich Portrait Lord Anderson of Ipswich (CB)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

As a serving member of the Courts of Appeal of Guernsey and of Jersey, I do not normally speak on Channel Islands matters, at least if there were any possibility that it might disqualify me from sitting on some future appeal. This permissive extent clause, most unusually not consented to by either Guernsey or Jersey, merits a departure from that general rule.

There is no need to speculate as to why the Government insist so strongly at this time on a power to implement international fisheries agreements in the Channel Islands. The Minister has, after all, told the Constitution Committee that,

“we do not currently have any specific concerns which we would envisage using the PEC to address.”

I accept that formulation, while noting the care with which it is drafted. I shall, however, speak as someone with a little understanding of the legal systems of the Channel Islands on the constitutional consequences that are feared in the islands were this clause, said by the Minister to support the Crown dependencies, to be activated.

There was no hint in what we heard from the Minister that Orders in Council issued under the clause would be anything other than automatically binding in the Channel Islands. The point I want to get across is that under the laws of Jersey and Guernsey, it is at least doubtful that such a clause would even allow the United Kingdom Government to legislate in future for the bailiwicks without their consent. The States of Jersey Law 2005, like the Code of 1771 that preceded it, assumes that the UK Parliament may legislate for Jersey but places an important fetter on that power. Discussed by the Royal Court in the terrorist asset-freezing case of 2011, Section 31 of that law appears to signify that any Order in Council to extend the provisions of the Fisheries Bill to Jersey would need to be approved by Jersey’s legislature, the States Assembly, before it could be registered.

The States of Deliberation has a similar function in Guernsey under Article 72A of the Reform (Guernsey) Law 1948, as amended. Does the Minister accept that an Order in Council providing for the implementation of international obligations in the Channel Islands could take effect there only with the consent of the States Assembly and the States of Deliberation? If he cannot agree—I suspect that his instructions may be that he cannot—we enter into dangerous and heavily disputed waters.

The consent or otherwise of devolved Administrations within the United Kingdom is much in your Lordships’ minds at the moment, as we consider the internal market Bill. However, the constitutional issues for the Channel Islands are starker than that. Unlike Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, they are not part of the United Kingdom, not represented in this Parliament and benefit from no equivalent to the protection for devolved Administrations in Clauses 41 and 42. Were the legislators in Guernsey or Jersey to resolve that an Order in Council under this clause should not be approved, we would find ourselves in a constitutional impasse. The confusion and ill feeling that could be engendered in the fishing communities of the Channel Islands and of Normandy, uncertain of the rules to which they were subject, would benefit no one, save the lawyers who might be expected to rely not only on the points that I have outlined but on the right to electoral representation that the Gibraltarian Miss Matthews successfully asserted in her case against the United Kingdom. That was one of my many defeats in the European Court of Human Rights.

It is genuinely puzzling that there seems to be no compelling reason to have participated in such a potentially damaging conflict. For many years, as the Minister acknowledged, Guernsey and Jersey have found ways in which to scrupulously give effect to their international obligations while preserving their constitutional autonomy. By threatening that autonomy for no specific reason this clause sows discord where there was, constitutionally if not always politically, harmony. I regret that we are asked to accept it and that the request has come so late in the parliamentary process. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Beith, for his amendment, which has allowed these important issues at least to be aired.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester Portrait Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Lab)
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My Lords, it a privilege to follow the noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich, and, like him, I declare a Channel Island interest in that I chair the Alderney Gambling Control Commission and am a vice-chair of the Channel Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group. To say that the inclusion of the permissive extent clause in Clause 52 has upset the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey is an under- statement. They are affronted by it, and for very good reason. The clause is neither necessary nor appropriate; it respects neither the bailiwicks’ legislative autonomy nor their centuries-old constitutional relationship with the Crown. This is almost exactly the view taken by your Lordships’ Constitution Committee, to which the noble Lord, Lord Beith, referred.

I shall quote another section of that report, which states:

“The long-standing practice of the United Kingdom when it ratifies an international agreement has been to do so on behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and any of the Crown Dependencies that wish the international instrument to apply to them. Where legislation has been required, it has been enacted by the Crown Dependencies’ own legislatures, subject to the usual requirements for Royal Assent, and any potential differences of view have been dealt with in bilateral discussion rather than by the imposition of legislation from Westminster.”

The report goes on to state:

“We recommend that the Bill be amended so that consent of the governments of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (as appropriate) is required prior to the use of these powers.”

The crucial word here is “consent”.

Reading the Hansard report of the Bill’s Report stage in the House of Commons, I commend the speech of Sir Robert Neill MP, the chairman of the Justice Committee:

“There is a long-standing constitutional convention … that the normal process is that we legislate for the Crown dependencies only with their consent. They are not former colonies or British territories, and they are not part of the United Kingdom in the strict sense. They are possessions of Her Majesty the Queen, by right of her position as successor to the Duchy of Normandy. That is why they do not have representation here. Where necessary, their legislative dealings with the UK Government are dealt with historically through the Privy Council, and are now safeguarded by the Ministry of Justice via the person of the Lord Chancellor. So their constitutional position is different.

The Government have recognised that in the past, for example in tax transparency legislation, where this House accepted that although we have the power to legislate for overseas territories, we do not constitutionally have the power to legislate for the Crown dependencies in a like manner.”—[Official Report, Commons, 13/10/20; cols. 307-08.]

It is almost exactly one month since this government amendment was first considered. The Bill started in your Lordships’ House on 29 January. It received our normal thorough scrutiny, with four days in Committee in March and two on Report in June. Throughout all those stages, and indeed during the Commons consideration at Second Reading and in Committee, there was no reference to this new clause.

The Minister said that the Government would have preferred to introduce the new clause earlier with the consent of the Crown dependencies, and indeed there were discussions between Defra officials and the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey in July, after the Bill had left your Lordships’ House, about the inclusion of a PEC. The island Governments, however, made it clear, verbally and in writing, that they did not want a PEC included; in other words, they denied their consent to it, pointing out that the bailiwicks are responsible for ensuring that they fulfil all the international obligations to which they have agreed to be bound, including by making legislation themselves in their respective jurisdictions.

The islands meet these international obligations by implementing appropriate policies and making and enforcing relevant legislation. The Channel Islands can legislate very quickly, if needed, to comply with international obligations and to resolve any international situations, as they have in the past. Any issues that arose could be dealt with effectively by the islands themselves, and the PEC is therefore unnecessary, and, from a constitutional point of view, wholly undesirable.

At this stage, I draw the House’s attention to the views of my noble friend Lady Pitkeathley, who is the only Guernsey-born Member of your Lordships’ House. She cannot take part in this debate but she has sent me this note:

“I was planning to focus on the issue of trust. Trust which has always existed … between the Channel Islands and what is affectionately known as ‘The Mainland’ or ‘The Other Side’. Every islander has relatives, friends, connections ‘over the other side’ and it is almost taken for granted that the interests of the two jurisdictions coincide, even while recognising and being proud of their own distinctions. It will be a source of great distress that this trust should be undermined as this legislation threatens to do and is surely not in the long term interests of either my home island or those of the government. The relationship between Guernsey and the UK government is based on mutual respect and an understanding of different perspectives and for the government to make these changes without any communication, let alone consultation, shows a gross lack of respect for the constitutional relationships which have worked well for decades. This is a constitutional issue, not one confined to fishing and would set a most unhelpful precedent for future relationships between the ‘dear Channel Islands’ and the UK.”

As I am sure your Lordships will be aware, “our dear Channel Islands” was how Winston Churchill described them in his liberation broadcast on 8 May 1945.

I do not want to be unfair to the Minister, or indeed to the Fisheries Minister, Victoria Prentis, as in recent days they have attempted to persuade Ministers in Guernsey and Jersey that what they are attempting to do is fair and reasonable. I should express my own appreciation that they took the trouble to talk to me last Tuesday.

I heard from Victoria Prentis’s office on Tuesday this week that Defra will

“establish a committee to discuss the Crown dependencies’ international obligations”.

We heard a similar commitment from the noble Lord, Lord Gardiner, this afternoon. That would be a tiny step forward, but it does not alleviate the Channel Islands’ concerns and would not justify the inclusion of the PEC in the Bill. In his letter to the Constitution Committee on 2 November, the noble Lord, Lord Gardiner, gave his

“absolute assurance that it is still government policy that legislation should not be extended to the Crown dependencies without first consulting their Governments and seeking their consent.”

When he replies to this debate, can he clarify that absolute assurance: that, in consulting the bailiwicks, the Government would act only once they had not just sought but received their consent, and that that is not just government policy but long-standing, established constitutional principle and practice? If he accepted that, he would at least be following the recommendation of our own Constitution Committee. If he does not do that, I really cannot see any alternative other than to agree to the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Beith.

Baroness Couttie Portrait Baroness Couttie (Con)
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It is a great pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner, whose speech I entirely agree with. In the interests of brevity, I will not reiterate some of the points that he has made.

I begin by reminding the House of my interest as a Guernsey financial services commissioner. I am speaking today to support the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Beith.

The effect of Clause 52 is to require the Channel Islands to follow the law as it pertains to regulations within international fishing agreements that the UK signs with or without the islands’ consent. The Channel Islands are independent, sovereign states that can create their own laws without interference from the UK. Although it is true that the UK represents the Channel Islands on the international stage, and is therefore responsible for ensuring that they follow the international law that the UK signs up to, the Channel Islands believe that this relates only to areas such as defence, human rights and foreign policy, and that fishing in their own domestic waters is a domestic matter and therefore does not fall under this obligation.

The PEC created in this amendment also raises some broader sovereignty issues that other speakers have touched upon and the concern that the UK could, at some time in the future, seek to further undermine their independence. They fear for where this may lead. I would be grateful if my noble friend the Minister could confirm in his reply that that will not be the case.

I am grateful to my noble friend the Minister and to the Fisheries Minister in the other place for their time discussing this matter with me and for the progress we have made towards a level of compromise that, while not satisfying the Channel Island legislatures, mitigates to some degree what they see as an infringement on their sovereignty.

My noble friend the Minister agreed at our meeting that regulations that the Channel Islands are required to implement will be subject to consultation by the committees spoken about by the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner, with the Channel Islands legislatures, and that all reasonable steps will be taken to respond to and mitigate the concerns that the consultation raises. I would be very grateful if the Minister could confirm that.

He also agreed that, in so far as the UK enters into international fishing agreements that contain regulations that are not relevant or appropriate to the Channel Islands, they will not apply. This situation could arise when developing regulations associated with fishing agreements signed with countries located some distance away from the Channel Islands, such as Norway and Iceland, and this can be achieved because of the regional structure of the plans to manage the fishing industry and trade in the UK, post Brexit. Again, I would be grateful if, in his closing remarks, my noble friend the Minister could confirm my understanding.

The Channel Islands and the UK have long enjoyed a constructive and positive working relationship, which I am sure we all hope will continue. It is unfortunate that the UK Government felt the need to include their amendment in the Bill and that they did not feel that the usual channels of communication, which have worked for so long, could be used instead to ensure that both the UK and the Channel Islands abide by their international obligations. It is doubly unfortunate that this issue has arisen around fisheries—an industry that, although not large on the Channel Islands, is nevertheless a vital part of the islands’ culture. I very much hope that the compromise I have outlined today is accepted.

Lord Northbrook Portrait Lord Northbrook (Con)
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My Lords, I support the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Beith, and the powerful speeches by the noble Lords, Lord Anderson of Ipswich and Lord Faulkner of Worcester, and my noble friend Baroness Couttie.

The relationship between the UK and the Channel Islands respects the distinct laws and ancient customs of the islands. They are not represented in the UK Parliament, and by charter and advention, the UK Parliament does not legislate for the islands without their consent. It is settled practice that the UK Government consult the main Channel Islands before they may bind them to obligations in international law.

As the noble Lord, Lord Beith, has already stated, the Fisheries Bill was amended at a late stage in the other place to include a permissive extent clause, or PEC. As other noble Lords have said, the PEC seeks to enable the UK Government to extend, through an Order in Council, certain provisions of the Bill to the Crown dependencies. As the Minister stated, this is largely related to the fulfilment of international obligations in Crown dependency waters. The use of PECs in relation to the Crown dependencies is extremely rare and fundamentally based on the established principle of prior consent. In this instance, both Guernsey and Jersey have consistently made absolutely plain to the UK Government the islands’ position towards the PEC as an unnecessary, unwanted and disproportionate measure.

The PEC offers neither a precise object nor a defined timescale for its scope and application. Furthermore, it does not contain any consultation provisions prior to its potential application. However, I welcome the words of the Minister about the committee that may be established.

In its present state the PEC is open-ended and overreached by the UK Government into an area where the main islands’ legislative frameworks are considered competent. In addition, the islands have stated that the UK’s effort to meaningfully consult—including through the fisheries management agreement—are belated and do not represent a solution to the PEC issue.

The Government still plan to go ahead with the use of the PEC unilaterally, and would use other consultative channels, such as the FMA, only as a supplementary method of engaging the Crown dependencies. I am briefed that both Guernsey and Jersey fundamentally disagree with the premise behind this and continue to oppose the PEC in the strongest terms. I am very supportive of them in this.

I will not repeat in detail the comments of other noble Lords on the report by the Constitution Committee of 9 November, except to say this. At paragraph 4, it states:

“The governments of the Channel Islands have expressed concerns about the ‘Permissive Extent Clause’ … We draw the attention of the House to the constitutional implications of this new subsection.”

At paragraph 7, it states:

“We are not persuaded of the necessity of Commons amendment 22. The Government should seek powers only when they are necessary and their use is anticipated.”

Finally, paragraph 9 of the report states that:

“Commons amendment 22 undermines the domestic autonomy of the Crown Dependencies and is contrary to long-standing practice. We recommend that the Bill be amended so that consent of the governments of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (as appropriate) is required prior to the use of these powers.”

By passing this amendment, the Government are going against the unanimous view of this House’s Constitution Committee. That is a serious matter and one that I regret.

The Government state that the Isle of Man has agreed to this amendment. I would like to point out the legal system there is Manx customary law, a form of common law. The relationship between the Crown and the Channel Islands respects the distinct laws and ancient customs of the islands, which are rooted in Norman-French customary law—an important difference, on which perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, might be able to elaborate. As a non-lawyer, I find this a perfect valid reason for their different view.

Lord Pannick Portrait Lord Pannick (CB)
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My Lords, I agree with the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Beith, and other speeches which have been highly critical—justifiably so—of Commons Amendment 22. Like the noble Lord, Lord Beith, I am a member of the Constitution Committee. As noble Lords have heard, we reported on 9 November that Amendment 22 raises issues of constitutional importance. It is the long-standing practice of Parliament that it does not legislate for the Crown dependencies without their consent. As your Lordships have heard, Amendment 22 has caused considerable concern in the Channel Islands, and understandably so.

It is particularly regrettable that the Government introduced the permissive extent clause at so late a stage of the passage of this Bill through Parliament. The amendment was tabled on 9 October, four days prior to Report and Third Reading stages in the House of Commons. The Bill had its First Reading in this House as long ago as 29 January. The 11th-hour tabling of the new provision has deprived this House of any opportunity to debate this amendment prior to today. It gave the House of Commons very little opportunity to consider the amendment. On a matter of constitutional importance, that is inexcusable.

It is particularly inexcusable when the hybrid procedures of this House prevent noble Lords, with very limited exceptions, participating remotely at this stage of a Bill. It means that those noble Lords who are unable to travel here to protect their health are simply deprived of a voice. On 12 October, when the Senior Deputy Speaker introduced the report explaining the hybrid procedure for Lords consideration of Commons Amendments, the noble Lord said by way of justification for limiting remote participation at this stage:

“By the time a Bill reaches these late stages, the issues have already been well debated”.—[Official Report, 12/10/20; col. 880.]

On this important provision, they have not been. That is another reason it is simply inexcusable for the Government to introduce a matter of constitutional importance so late in the Bill. I suggest that the Procedure Committee reconsider the hybrid procedure on ping-pong—the procedure that prevents remote participation apart from for a person moving a Motion—when, as in this case, a provision has not been previously considered by the House.

That would all be bad enough, but the introduction of a provision of constitutional importance so late in the passage of the Bill is especially objectionable when the Government do not even suggest that there is any urgent need to act on the powers they now wish the House to confer on them. On the contrary, the Minister was clear this afternoon, and in correspondence, that it was “highly unlikely” that these powers would ever be exercised.

The Minister was equally candid in his letter to the esteemed chair of the Constitution Committee, the noble Baroness, Lady Taylor of Bolton. He said—it has already been quoted but it is so extraordinary that it bears repetition:

“To be clear, we do not currently have any specific concerns which we would envisage using the PEC to address.”

Moreover, in that same letter, the Minister assured the committee he accepted that

“the Crown Dependencies take their international obligations extremely seriously; and I am confident that they would meet any required commitments, legislating domestically if required, in any normal circumstances.”

The position is clear. Even the Government do not suggest that there is any current or anticipated need for this extraordinary provision. They would simply like to have the powers in case something unexpected were to turn up.

When the provision was debated in the House of Commons, Sir Robert Neill, chairman of the Justice Committee, accurately described it as a

“‘break glass in emergency’ clause”,

and simply not good enough to justify what he described as

“trespassing on the constitutional integrity of the Crown dependencies”.—[Official Report, Commons, 13/10/20; col. 308.]

I agree, except that I would say “trampling all over”, rather than “trespassing on”. We should not break constitutional conventions because there is a remote possibility of a need to exercise powers in the future. Far less should we be doing so by way of a provision introduced so late in the passage of a Bill that it has not received the detailed consideration which it deserves.

Commons Amendment 22 is indefensible, except on the basis that any legislation for Jersey and Guernsey without the consent of the Channel Islands would have no legal effect there, for the reasons given by the noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich. I look forward to being briefed to argue the point before Mr Justice Anderson in the courts of appeal in Jersey and Guernsey, but for the obvious conflicts of interests that we would both have.

Lord Lexden Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Lexden) (Con)
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Does any other noble Lord in the Chamber wish to speak? No. In which case, I turn to those listed for the debate and call the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville.

Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville Portrait Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville (LD) [V]
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My Lords, it is a pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord Pannick. Motion 22A, tabled by my noble friend Lord Beith, which would leave out Clause 52, deals with the PEC, or permissive extent clause, which affects the Crown dependencies in unusual circumstances and protects the UK against any part of it breaking international law, which would affect the whole of the UK. Other noble Lords have spoken very eloquently about this. My noble friend Lord Beith has set out extremely well the case for deleting Clause 52, and we have also heard from other noble Lords on this subject. It would seem extremely high-handed of the Government to introduce the PEC against the wishes of the Crown dependencies of Guernsey and Jersey.

The noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich, has spoken from his personal knowledge of the law of the bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, and other Peers have also spoken knowledgeably to Motion 22A. The Bailiwick of Jersey has written to Peers stating that the use of the PEC in relation to the Crown dependencies is extremely rare and fundamentally based on the established principle of prior consent. In this instance, both Jersey and Guernsey have consistently made it plain to the UK Government the islands’ position that the PEC is an unnecessary, unwanted and disproportionate measure.

The Bailiwick of Jersey does not consider that the UK Government have yet put forward a credible argument as to why the PEC is necessary in Jersey’s case, and I very much agree. Jersey already possesses the ability, under the Sea Fisheries (Jersey) Law 1994, to give effect to any legal obligations related to fisheries management within its waters. The UK Government have not been able to provide any previous precedent or reasonable scenarios in which Jersey’s current regime could be considered insufficient.

In their letter to the noble Baroness, Lady Taylor of Bolton, on 2 November, the Government state that they have been trying to reach an agreement over the last 10 months. Not to have reached an agreement over this period is no excuse to impose the PEC on reluctant Crown dependencies.

The Channel Islands All-Party Group has also written expressing considerable concerns about this matter. My noble friend Lord Chidgey, who cannot be present this afternoon to make his own contribution, is similarly concerned about the legal implications of the UK imposing the PEC on Guernsey and Jersey.

I welcome the joint committee that the Minister, Victoria Prentis, is setting up with the Crown dependencies, to try to reach an agreement on the use of PEC. However, given the weight of the arguments expressed this afternoon, I ask the Minister to withdraw government Amendment 52 and continue negotiations with the Crown dependencies to reach an accommodation that is not in the form of a sledgehammer, as this Clause currently is. I look forward to his response on this critical issue, which has generated such a degree of opposition.

I pay tribute, as others have, to the Minister’s patience and good humour, and to the noble Baroness, Lady Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist. They and their officials have provided very detailed briefings, which have been invaluable. I also pay tribute to my colleague, the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, for sharing his considerable expertise and knowledge, without which I would have struggled.

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Portrait Baroness Jones of Whitchurch (Lab)
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My Lords, I thank the Minister for his explanation of this new clause, and the noble Lord, Lord Beith, for raising his concerns, with which we have considerable sympathy. As ever, it is unfortunate that this issue has come before us at such a late stage. The noble Lord, Lord Pannick, raised some very important procedural issues around the consequences which arise from that, and the lack of scrutiny that we can therefore give to the proposals.

We have all read the exchange of correspondence with the Constitution Committee, and the Minister will know that its latest report says that it is

“not persuaded of the necessity”

of the government amendment on the permissive extent clause, and that what is being proposed is “contrary to long-standing practice”, in which differences of view are

“dealt with in bilateral discussion rather than by … imposition … from Westminster.”

Clearly, the Constitution Committee speaks with great authority. We should take its advice seriously. It is a great shame that events have come to this, particularly since the circumstances in which the permissive extent clause would be used seem so obscure and unlikely. It feels as though the lawyers in Defra have got carried away anticipating events that are never going to happen, a point made by a number of noble Lords.

When we spoke to the Secretary of State and the Minister, Victoria Prentis, earlier this week, we were told that further discussions with the Channel Islands would take place this week, and that it was hoped that the outstanding issues would be resolved. We were optimistic. However, having spoken to Guernsey’s Minister of External Relations yesterday, and heard the voices from around the Chamber today, I gather that, despite further discussions, concerns remain. The Minister also told me that this was damaging relations with their French neighbours and playing badly in the French media, a point confirmed in the contribution of the noble Lord, Lord Beith. I agree with the quote from my noble friend Lady Pitkeathley, that this is an issue about trust, and that it is a great shame that the strong relationship and trust that have existed in the past are now being undermined.

I am sorry that we are debating this issue and that it remains unresolved. There must be further bilateral discussions to resolve the matter. At a minimum, I hope that the Minister will commit to continuing discussions with the Crown dependencies on this issue, not only in a committee, but on a more urgent basis. These matters surely must be resolved now, well in advance of any conflict, rather than potentially in the middle of any crisis which might provoke the use of a PEC.

Secondly, I hope the Minister can be explicit about the very narrow circumstances in which he envisages these powers being used, because that is a mystery to many of us. I think all noble Lords would like to understand the type of event that would provoke the imposition of a PEC.

Lastly, I hope the Minister can acknowledge the issue raised by the noble Lord, Lord Anderson, and others. The legal position is that, where an international instrument is to be applied to a Crown dependency, it will need to be enacted by the dependency’s own legislature rather than being imposed on it. If that is the case, then it needs the legislature’s consent in the first place, which rather negates the existence of a PEC.

I hope the Minister is hearing the voices from around the Chamber on all this. It is a great pity that we are ending our consideration of the Bill on such a note of discord. I hope he can come forward with a way through. As this is my last appearance on the Bill, I add my considerable thanks to the Minister and the noble Baroness for their considerable patience and courtesy throughout this process; they went much further than many in making sure that we were properly briefed and had access to the best possible advice. On that note, which I am sorry we have ended on, I hope the Minister is able to come back with something constructive. I look forward to his response.

Lord Lexden Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Lexden) (Con)
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I call on the noble Lord, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, to reply to this important debate.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
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My Lords, this is an extremely important debate. I am grateful for this challenge; it is rather like playing tennis with someone much better than oneself, and one hopes that that raises one’s game. When lawyers are about, I get a shade nervous. I am also nervous as I am second to none in my regard and indeed affection for the noble Baroness, Lady Pitkeathley. I am reminded here of the reference to Winston Churchill and the reference to two of the Crown dependencies and their history with the Crown.

Not only for me personally but for the Government, the essential nature of working with the three Crown dependencies is the warmth and positivity of that relationship as we are all part of the British family. I say to the noble Lord, Lord Beith, that I am grateful to him for his opening remarks, because we stand by the framework agreements, recognising the Channel Islands’ international identities. That is different from the UK ensuring that we can meet our international obligations. This is an area where I, not being the Fisheries Minister but having to attend to this matter, have tried to get my head around how this clause comes into our international obligations and why I am going to endeavour to persuade your Lordships that this is solely about how it relates to the UK’s international obligations. Indeed, that is why it is in Clause 36; it is defined because it is about all of us adhering to obligations that, as I said in my opening remarks, play out for everyone in the British family. There is therefore that last resort, that safety valve, of having provisions that enable adherence to international obligations that would have adverse impacts.

To the remarks of my noble friend Lady Couttie, I say that our preference, indeed our expectation, is that the Crown dependencies will implement the necessary legislation to meet international requirements that apply to them. As I have said, the clause provides protection for the British family on the international stage, but obviously we hope we will not have to use it.

I was struck by what the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, said. My view is that, when I take out an insurance policy, I am dearly hoping that my house does not burn down but I have a backstop. I have given very lay consideration to the issue of responsibility in this new adventure as an independent marine state, given the international obligations that we as the British Government will have. I think it is rather important, when I am seeking to persuade, to say that I personally see merit in this, but we do not in any sense want to have difficulties with the Crown dependencies.

I hope noble Lords will appreciate the requirement for the UK Government to be able to ensure that they meet international obligations for the protection of all parts of the UK—and indeed the Crown dependencies, which is the crux of the matter. That is a responsible international-facing Government ensuring that we can continue to meet our international obligations on sustainable fishing. We will of course continue to work very closely with the Crown dependencies at all levels but of course particularly at official and ministerial level.

I say to a number of noble Lords, including my noble friends Lady Couttie and Lord Northbrook, the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, and the noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Whitchurch, that, having worked with my honourable friend Victoria Prentis, the Fisheries Minister, I am sure she is determined to ensure that, in the setting up of a committee with the Crown dependencies—as I have said, within the possible structure of the fisheries management agreements—to consider and assess how the implementation of the international obligations is going to be worked through. That is what we will want to do.

I agree with the sentiments that the noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Whitchurch, has expressed about the importance of dialogue and continuing discussion. There is continuing work to be done on this matter with this Bill and with the responsibilities that the Government now have as an independent maritime state. I want to put on the record and re-emphasise that, through the committee or through other work, it is vital that the communications and collaborative working with the Crown dependencies are designed to ensure that we may not ever need to use this last-resort measure. That is the whole purpose of dialogue and good friendship in protecting, as I have said, the British family. I say publicly that I understand the sentiments that the noble Baroness has expressed.

I shall repeat this so it is on the record: the committee could deal with issues that may lead to the activation of the permissive extent clause. It is not intended that this clause and the regulation-making power that it relates to would be used to legislate for the Crown dependencies without their consent, unless it were to become necessary to implement an international obligation that applied to them. I emphasise again that that would only ever be as a last resort, after full consultation and the exhaustion of all other options.

I shall answer some of the questions that were asked. I looked at the Ministry of Justice guidance on this matter. I say to the noble Lords, Lord Anderson of Ipswich and Lord Pannick, that the MoJ advises that although consultation and consent should be sought in all circumstances, PECs can be included in Bills without the prior agreement of the Crown dependencies in exceptional circumstances and where a Bill engages the UK’s constitutional responsibilities for defence and international relations. This position is reflected in the Fact Sheet on the UK’s Relationship with the Crown Dependencies that was published by the MoJ in February this year. I will look at what both noble Lords, with their legal advantage over me, have said. I have referred to the MoJ guidance and that is the best that I can do on the matter, but it is available for further consideration.

I would also say to the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner—and to all noble Lords—that working with Crown dependency officials and Ministers will clearly be very essential. We raised the idea of this clause before the Bill was introduced in January, then discussions took place at official level aiming to narrow the scope of the clause to what is required to protect the British family and other Crown dependencies. We consulted on them formally later this year. As I say, this is why the discussions for this Bill are specifically about Clause 36 and our international obligations. I should also say to the noble Lord that this clause does not legislate for the Crown dependencies before activating the PEC. We would consult and seek to achieve the same results through other options—for instance, of course, Crown dependency domestic legislation.

On seeking consent before extending legislation, we would always—I put this on record—seek to resolve any issues through collaborative means. There are many examples of this in the history of our great relationship. Indeed, my noble friend Lady Couttie is right that it would not be appropriate for the UK to include a PEC in respect of domestic legislation. This is about international relations. My noble friend also referred to non-relevant international agreements not applying. As a matter of policy and convention, we do not extend treaties or agreements to the Crown dependencies unless they ask us to. So, if an agreement does not benefit the Crown dependencies, it is unlikely that they would ask us to extend it to them.

I certainly heard what the noble Lord, Lord Beith, said. I have always taken note of the Constitution Committee. I understand all the points that have been made. I have at least sought to put on the record that this is a last resort relating solely to international obligations for which the UK Government are responsible. This is the key point about these matters and why it is important that, to protect the interests of the British family in terms of the international obligations to which we all have to adhere, the UK Government have this last-resort opportunity.

Obviously, as I said in my opening remarks and closing speech, I am looking to a situation where our relationship with the Crown dependencies is extremely strong—as I believe it is—and we never have to relate to the use of this clause. I personally do not think that it is a legitimate answer or desire if we therefore do not have an opportunity of last resort. Let me use an example, to take us back to fish. If there is illegal, unregulated fishing in a certain jurisdiction and sustainable fishing is not being undertaken, it falls on the UK Government to undertake this under our arrangements. We need an opportunity for the UK Government to have the scope and the possibility of ensuring that, across the British family, these obligations are adhered to on behalf of us all.

I always stand to attention when certain noble Lords feel strongly about something but, although I understand the points that have been made—particularly those made by the noble Lord, Lord Beith—this is an area where the UK Government, Defra and, certainly, the Fisheries Minister, want to take forward the committee and other discussions. That is how we will restore the harmony that I think we instinctively want between all the Crown dependencies and the UK Government as part of the British family.

I am very mindful and, because I am chastened, I will obviously take back to my ministerial colleagues all the points that have been made. However, I respectfully beg to move because I think that the UK Government must have a mechanism of last resort.

Lord Lexden Portrait The Deputy Speaker (Lord Lexden) (Con)
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My Lords, I have received a request to ask a short question from the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner of Worcester.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester Portrait Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Lab)
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My Lords, I express my appreciation to the Minister for the considerate and thoughtful way in which he responded to the debate. I would just like clarification on that very last point. He has drawn attention, quite rightly, to the constitutional history between the United Kingdom Government and the Channel Islands. Does he not accept that the way in which harmony can be restored is by just saying “yes” to this question: if the Channel Islands do not consent to the use of the PEC, will the Government not insist on it?

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, I understand the instincts of the noble Lord exactly. On international obligations, the whole point about the last resort is that, if international obligations were not being adhered to in a certain part of the British family, it would be the responsibility of the UK Government to act accordingly. All I say in answering the noble Lord— positively, I hope—is that I believe that everyone I have spoken to who would have responsibility would work collaboratively and exhaust every option available. It would be triggered only if all those options were exhausted in order to adhere to international obligations. This is my point.

Also—if I am allowed to say this and if this is the last moment—I respect immensely all noble Lords who have participated in the consideration of this Fisheries Bill. This is indeed my first experience of us dealing with a Bill as the first House; I can tell your Lordships that, when I saw the number of amendments coming back from the other place, I was not the only one whose heart may have sunk a bit. I think it shows that, when we are the second House and have other points to make, the other place sends us messages back as well. I place on record my deep appreciation of the Front Bench opposite and the Back Benches on all sides of the House for the collaborative way in which I believe we have worked, seeking to do the best we can for the marine environment and the future of our fisheries communities—which, after all, bring us such nutritious food, often in very difficult circumstances. I place my thanks on record and have no doubt that we will have further work to do.

Lord Beith Portrait Lord Beith (LD) [V]
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My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for the care that he has taken over this but I am afraid that he was not as persuasive as he sometimes is—certainly for me. I want to pick up on a couple of his points before thanking the noble Lords who took part in this debate.

On international obligations, the dependencies understand and carry out their international obligations. They have the legislative and policing capacity to do so, and the UK Government would not face any problem in persuading them to take the necessary and appropriate action where it was clear that it was needed. There are many areas in which international obligations exist and the Government do not appear, as far as I can see, to be running around creating powers like this in areas in which conditions could arise where there are international obligations to be satisfied. The existing system works and does not need to be changed.

Secondly, on the legal situation in both Guernsey and Jersey, which was so helpfully raised by the noble Lord, Lord Anderson of Ipswich, the note that was passed to the Minister was not really about that—I do not blame him for that—but about the legal situation on including a permitted extension clause in the Bill in the first place. It does not really address what would happen under Guernsey or Jersey law if the Government attempted to use the power. The amount of uncertainty that exists in that area is something that the Government will have to take into account.

The speech of the noble Lord, Lord Anderson, and the points he raised illustrated the high level of knowledge and experience that Peers brought to the debate. I mention the noble Lords, Lord Anderson, Lord Faulkner, Lord Northbrook and Lord Pannick, the noble Baronesses, Lady Couttie and Lady Jones, and my noble friend Lady Bakewell, who suggested that the Minister should withdraw the clause, which could be achieved by accepting my amendment, in order to discuss the matter further with Guernsey and Jersey.

The Minister has not accepted good advice but, at such a late stage, in the face of Commons acceptance of the clause, our options are limited, and I do not think a vote would be helpful. I can only hope that the very severe response from experienced and knowledgeable Members of this House has made clear to Ministers that on no account should they make use of these powers without having obtained the consent of the Crown dependencies to do so. They would face a very serious reaction if they were to attempt such a course without consent. On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw my Motion.

Motion 22A withdrawn.

Motion on Amendment 22 agreed.

Motion on Amendments 23 to 101

Moved by

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
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That this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments 23 to 101.

23: Clause 53, page 37, line 11, at end insert—

“(da) section (Agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities) (agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities);”

24: Clause 53, page 37, line 14, leave out “Section 45 (legislative competence of Senedd Cymru)” and insert “Sections 45 and (Interpretation of Welsh legislation) (legislative competence of Senedd Cymru etc)”

25: Clause 53, page 37, line 19, leave out “and Schedules 3 and 4” and insert “, Schedule 3 and (subject to subsection (5A)) Schedule 4”

26: Clause 53, page 37, line 21, at end insert—

“(da) section (Foreign fishing boats that are exclusively Faroe Islands-regulated) (foreign fishing boats exclusively Faroe Islands-regulated);”

27: Clause 53, page 37, line 30, at end insert—

“(4A) Section (conservation of seals) and Schedule (conservation of seals) (conservation of seals) come into force on 1 March 2021.”

(4B) In Schedule 4, the amendment made by paragraph 6(13)(d) is treated as always having had effect.”

28: Clause 54, page 37, line 38, leave out subsection (2)

29: Schedule 2, page 42, line 38, leave out from “crabs)” to end of line 1 on page 43 and insert “, in paragraph (2), after “foreign fishing boats” insert “of sea fish caught in waters lying outside British fishery limits”.”

30: Schedule 2, page 43, line 2, leave out from “crabs)” to end of line 4 and insert “, in paragraph (2), after “foreign fishing boats” insert “and were caught in waters lying outside British fishery limits”.”

31: Schedule 2, page 43, line 13, leave out “Scottish or”

32: Schedule 2, page 43, line 13, leave out “or a foreign vessel”

33: Schedule 2, page 43, line 16, at end insert—

“(4) A foreign vessel is prohibited from carrying in the English zone velvet crab that were caught in waters lying within British fishery limits and are below the minimum size mentioned in sub-paragraph (1).”

34: Schedule 2, page 43, line 23, leave out “Scottish or”

35: Schedule 2, page 44, line 19, leave out from “prohibition)” to end of line 20 and insert—

“(a) in paragraph (1) omit “wherever caught”;

(b) in paragraph (2), after “applies” insert “(wherever caught)”;

(c) after paragraph (2) insert—

“(3) The landing in England or Northern Ireland from a foreign fishing boat of any sea fish to which this article applies that were caught in waters lying within British fishery limits is prohibited.””

36: Schedule 2, page 45, line 16, leave out “in relation to”

37: Schedule 2, page 45, line 19, leave out “in relation to”

38: Schedule 2, page 46, line 11, at end insert “, or

(d) a foreign fishing boat outside British fishery limits.”

39: Schedule 2, page 51, line 32, at end insert—

“SCOTLAND

The Lobsters and Crawfish (Prohibition of Fishing and Landing) (Scotland) Order 1999

22 (1) The Lobsters and Crawfish (Prohibition of Fishing and Landing) (Scotland) Order 1991 (S.S.I. 1999/88) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 3 (fishing prohibition)—

(a) in paragraph (2), for “a relevant British” substitute “any”;

(b) in paragraph (3), for “within the Scottish zone or anywhere outside that zone” substitute “outside the Scottish zone”.

(3) In article 4 (landing prohibition), for paragraph (3) substitute—

“(3) The prohibition in paragraph (2) does not apply in relation to sea fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”

(4) In article 5 (powers of British sea-fishery officers in relation to fishing boats), in paragraph (1)(b), for “relevant British” substitute “other”.

The Sea Fish (Specified Sea Areas) (Regulation of Nets and Other Fishing Gear) (Scotland) Order 2000

23 (1) The Sea Fish (Specified Sea Areas) (Regulation of Nets and Other Fishing Gear) (Scotland) Order 2000 (S.S.I. 2000/227) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 3 (application), in paragraphs (1)(b) and (1B)(b), for “relevant British” substitute “other”.

The Prohibition of Fishing for Scallops (Scotland) Order 2003

24 (1) The Prohibition of Fishing for Scallops (Scotland) Order 2003 (S.S.I. 2003/371) is amended as follows.

(2) In articles 3 and 4 (prohibitions of fishing for king scallops) for “a Scottish fishing boat or by any relevant British” substitute “any”.

(3) In article 6 (powers of British sea-fishery officers), in paragraph (1)(b), for “relevant British” substitute “other”.

The Shrimp Fishing Nets (Scotland) Order 2004

25 (1) The Shrimp Fishing Nets (Scotland) Order 2004 (S.S.I. 2004/261) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 3 (prohibition on fishing for shrimps without a separator trawl or sorting grid), in paragraph (1)(b), for “relevant British” substitute “other”.

(3) In article 4 (powers of British sea-fishery officers), in paragraph (1)(b), for “relevant British” substitute “other”.

The Sharks, Skates and Rays (Prohibition of Fishing, Trans-shipment and Landing) (Scotland) Order 2012

26 (1) The Sharks, Skates and Rays (Prohibition of Fishing, Trans-shipment and Landing) (Scotland) Order 2012 (S.S.I. 2012/63) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 2 (definitions) omit the following definitions—

“fishing boat”;

“relevant British fishing boat”;

“Scottish fishing boat”;

“third country”;

“third country fishing boat”.

(3) Omit article 3 (application).

(4) In article 4 (prohibition of fishing for tope), for “a boat to which this article applies” substitute “any fishing boat”.

(5) In article 5 (prohibition of trans-shipment of tope), for “a boat or vessel to which this article applies” substitute “any fishing boat”.

(6) In article 6 (prohibition of landing tope)—

(a) the existing provision becomes paragraph (1);

(b) in that paragraph, for “a boat or vessel to which this article applies” substitute “any fishing boat”;

(c) after that paragraph insert—

“(2) The prohibition in paragraph (1) does not apply in relation to tope caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”

(7) In article 7 (prohibition of landing specified species of shark, skate and ray)—

(a) in paragraph (1), for “a boat or vessel to which this article applies” substitute “any fishing boat”;

(b) after paragraph (1) insert—

“(1A) The prohibition in paragraph (1) does not apply in relation to a specified species caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”

(c) in paragraph (2), for “paragraph (1)” substitute “this article”.

(8) In article 8 (powers of British sea-fishery officers in relation to fishing boats), in paragraph (1)—

(a) in sub-paragraph (b), for “relevant British” substitute “other”;

(b) omit sub-paragraph (c) and the “and” before it.

The Regulation of Scallop Fishing (Scotland) Order 2017

27 (1) The Regulation of Scallop Fishing (Scotland) Order 2017 (S.S.I. 2017/127) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 2 (interpretation), omit the definition of “British fishing boat”.

(3) In article 3 (prescribed minimum size for landing king scallops)—

(a) for paragraph (3) substitute—

“(3) The prohibition imposed by section 1(1) of the Act, as read with paragraph (1), does not apply in relation to sea fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”;

(b) in paragraph (5), omit sub-paragraph (a).

(4) In article 4 (restrictions on number of scallop dredges), in the opening words, omit “British”.

(5) In article 5 (exemption from restrictions in article 4), in paragraphs (1),

(2), (3)(a) and (4)(a), omit “British”.

(6) In article 6 (requirement to install a functioning remote electronic monitoring system), in paragraphs (1) and (3), omit “British”.

The Prohibition of Fishing with Multiple Trawls (Scotland) Order 2017

28 (1) The Prohibition of Fishing with Multiple Trawls (Scotland) Order 2017 (S.S.I. 2017/325) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 3 (prohibition of method of fishing), in paragraph (1)(b), for “relevant British” substitute “other”.

The Specified Crustaceans (Prohibition on Landing, Sale and Carriage) (Scotland) Order 2017

29 (1) The Specified Crustaceans (Prohibition on Landing, Sale and Carriage) (Scotland) Order 2017 (S.S.I. 2017/455) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 2 (interpretation), omit the definition of “foreign fishing boat”.

(3) In article 3 (prescribed minimum size for landing edible crabs in Scotland), for paragraph (2) substitute—

“(2) The prohibition imposed by section 1(1) of the Act, as read with paragraph (1), does not apply in relation to sea fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”

(4) In article 4 (prohibitions on landing, sale, exposure or offer for sale or possession, or carriage of velvet crabs)—

(a) in paragraph (4), after “Scottish zone” insert “, or a foreign fishing boat within the Scottish zone,”;

(b) for paragraphs (6) and (7) substitute—

“(6) The prohibitions imposed by—

(a) section 1(1) of the Act, as read with paragraph

(1), and

(b) paragraphs (4) and (5), do not apply in relation to sea fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.

(7) The prohibition imposed by section 1(2) of the Act, as read with paragraph (2), does not apply in relation to sea fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”

(5) In article 5 (prescribed minimum size for landing spider crabs in Scotland), for paragraph (2) substitute—

“(2) The prohibition imposed by section 1(1) of the Act, as read with paragraph (1), does not apply in relation to sea fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”

(6) In article 6 (prescribed minimum size for landing green crabs in the Orkney Islands), for paragraph (2) substitute—

“(2) The prohibition imposed by section 1(1) of the Act, as read with paragraph (1), does not apply in relation to sea fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”

(7) In article 7 (prohibitions on landing, sale, exposure or offer for sale or possession, or carriage of lobsters)—

(a) in paragraph (10), after “Scottish zone” insert “, or a foreign fishing boat within the Scottish zone,”;

(b) for paragraphs (12) and (13) substitute—

“(12) The prohibitions imposed by—

(a) section 1(1) of the Act, as read with paragraphs

(1) to (7), and

(b) paragraph (10), do not apply in relation to sea fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.

(13) The prohibition imposed by section 1(2) of the Act, as read with paragraph (8), does not apply in relation to sea fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”

The Sea Fish (Prohibited Methods of Fishing) (Firth of Clyde) Order 2019

30 (1) The Sea Fish (Prohibited Methods of Fishing) (Firth of Clyde) Order 2019 (S.S.I. 2019/419) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 2 (interpretation), in paragraph (1), omit the definition of “British fishing boat”.

(3) In article 3 (prohibited methods of fishing), in paragraphs (1), (2) and (3), omit “British”.

NORTHERN IRELAND

The Inshore Fishing (Prohibition of Fishing and Fishing Methods) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993

31 (1) The Inshore Fishing (Prohibition of Fishing and Fishing Methods) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993 (S.R. (N.I.) 1993 No. 155) are amended as follows.

(2) In regulation 4 (exceptions), omit “to any person who is not a British citizen or”.

The Razor Shells (Prohibition of Fishing) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998

32 (1) The Razor Shells (Prohibition of Fishing) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998 (Northern Ireland) 1998 (S.R. (N.I.) 1998 No. 414) are amended as follows.

(2) In regulation 4 (exceptions), omit paragraph (a).

The Crabs and Lobsters (Minimum Size) Order (Northern Ireland) 2000

33 (1) The Crabs and Lobsters (Minimum Size) Order (Northern Ireland) 2000 (S.R. (N.I.) 2000 No. 200) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 2 (interpretation)—

(a) omit the definition of “British fishing boat”;

(b) for the definition of “foreign fishing boat” substitute—

“foreign fishing boat” has the same meaning as in the Fisheries Act 2020 (see section 51 of that Act);”.

(3) For article 4 substitute—

“Exemptions

4 The prohibitions imposed by section 127(1) of the Act, as read with Article 3 and the Schedule, do not apply in relation to seafish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”

The Conservation of Scallops Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008

34 (1) The Conservation of Scallops Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008 (S.R. (N.I.) 2008 No. 430) are amended as follows.

(2) In regulation 2 (interpretation), omit the definition of “British fishing boat”.

(3) In regulation 3 (prohibition of fishing and fishing methods) in paragraphs (3), (4), (7)(b) and (8), omit “British”.

(4) In regulation 4 (exemptions), omit paragraph (a).

The Edible Crabs (Conservation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

35 (1) The Edible Crabs (Conservation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (S.R. (N.I.) 2020 No. 152) are amended as follows.

(2) In regulation 2 (interpretation), for the definition of “foreign fishing boat” substitute—

“foreign fishing boat” has the same meaning as in the Fisheries Act 2020 (see section 51 of that Act);”.

(3) For regulation 5 (exemptions) substitute—

“Exemptions

5 (1) The obligations and prohibitions imposed by regulations 3 and 4 do not apply to any person operating under the authority of, and in accordance with a permit granted under, section 14 of the Act.

(2) The obligations and prohibitions imposed by regulations 3 and 4 do not apply in relation to sea-fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.”

The Edible Crabs (Undersized) Order (Northern Ireland) 2020

36 (1) The Edible Crabs (Undersized) Order (Northern Ireland) 2020 (S.R. (N.I.) 2020 No. 153) is amended as follows.

(2) In article 2 (interpretation), for the definition of “foreign fishing boat” substitute—

“foreign fishing boat” has the same meaning as in the Fisheries Act 2020 (see section 51 of that Act);”.

(3) For article 4 (exemptions) substitute—

“Exemptions

4 (1) The prohibition imposed by section 127(1) of the Act, as read with Article 3 and the Schedule, does not apply to any person operating under the authority of, and in accordance with a permit granted under, section 14 of the Act.

(2) The prohibition imposed by section 127(1) of the Act, as read with Article 3 and the Schedule, does not apply in relation to sea-fish caught by a foreign fishing boat in waters lying outside British fishery limits.””

40: Schedule 3, page 54, line 6, at end insert—

“(4) This paragraph does not confer power on a sea fish licensing authority to make arrangements for a licensing function to be exercised on its behalf by another sea fish licensing authority (see instead section (Agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities) (agency arrangements between sea fish licensing authorities)).”

41: Schedule 3, page 55, line 41, leave out sub-paragraph (1)

42: Schedule 4, page 57, line 2, leave out sub-paragraph (3)

43: Schedule 4, page 60, line 30, at end insert—

“(d) in subsection (11)(b), after “approval”, in the second place it occurs, insert “or annulment”.”

44: Schedule 4, page 63, line 14, at end insert—

““temporary foreign vessel licence” means a licence that— (a) is granted in respect of a foreign fishing boat, and

(b) has effect for a period of no more than three weeks;”

45: Schedule 4, page 63, line 23, after “words” insert—

“(i) after “A licence” insert “, other than a temporary foreign vessel licence,”;

(ii) ”

46: Schedule 4, page 63, line 40, leave out “this regulation” and insert “paragraphs (1) and (2)”.

47: Schedule 4, page 63, line 44, leave out from “charterer;” to end of line 47 and insert—

“(b) in relation to a licence or notice relating to a foreign fishing boat, the owner or charterer of the fishing boat.

(2B) A temporary foreign vessel licence shall be granted to the owner or charterer of a foreign fishing boat by communicating it to the relevant person by—

(a) transmitting it to the relevant person by means of an electronic communication, and

(b) subsequently publishing it on the website of the Welsh Ministers or of a person granting the licence on their behalf.

(2C) In paragraph (2B), “the relevant person”, in relation to a foreign fishing boat, means—

(a) if the fishing boat is registered in a member State, the European Commission;

(b) if the fishing boat is registered in a country or territory that is not a member State, the authority in that country or territory that is responsible for the regulation of fishing boats.”

48: Schedule 4, page 64, line 10, after “licence” insert “, other than a temporary foreign vessel licence,”

49: Schedule 4, page 64, line 21, leave out paragraphs (a) and (b) and insert—

“(a) in the heading, for “Delivery” substitute “Granting”;

(b) in paragraphs (1) and (2), for “delivered” substitute “granted”;

(c) in paragraph (3)—

(i) after “A licence” insert “, other than a temporary foreign vessel licence,”;

(ii) for “a nominee’s” substitute “an”;

(iii) for “delivered” substitute “granted”;

(d) after paragraph (3) insert—

“(3A) In relation to a licence or notice transmitted by electronic means at any time during January 2021, the reference in paragraph (3) to 24 hours is to be read as a reference to one hour.

(3B) A notice communicated in accordance with regulation 2(2)(b) (publication on website) shall be treated as given immediately it is published in accordance with that provision.

(3C) A temporary foreign vessel licence communicated in accordance with regulation 2(2B) shall be treated as granted immediately it is published in accordance with that provision.”;

(e) in paragraph (5) (in each place it occurs), for “delivered” substitute “granted”.”

50: Schedule 4, page 64, line 27, leave out from “paragraph (a)” to end of line 28 and insert— “(i) after “2(1)” insert “or (2B)”;

(ii) omit “, and a notice which is communicated in accordance with regulation 2(2)(b),”;

(iii) for “delivered or given” substitute “granted”;”

51: Schedule 4, page 65, line 9, after “zone” insert “only”

52: Schedule 4, page 65, line 38, at end insert—

“(e) after that definition insert—

““temporary foreign vessel licence” means a licence that—

(a) is granted in respect of a foreign fishing boat, and

(b) has effect for a period of no more than three weeks.”

53: Schedule 4, page 65, line 40, after “words” insert—

“(i) after “A licence” insert “, other than a temporary foreign vessel licence,”;

(ii) ”

54: Schedule 4, page 65, line 43, at end insert—

“(ba) after that paragraph insert —

“(1A) A temporary foreign vessel licence is to be granted to the owner or charterer of a foreign fishing boat by communicating it to the relevant person by—

(a) transmitting it to the relevant person by means of an electronic communication, and

(b) subsequently publishing it on the website of the Scottish Ministers or of a person granting the licence on their behalf.

(1B) In paragraph (1A), “the relevant person”, in relation to a foreign fishing boat, means—

(a) if the fishing boat is registered in a member State, the European Commission;

(b) if the fishing boat is registered in a country or territory that is not a member State, the authority in that country or territory that is responsible for the regulation of fishing boats.”

55: Schedule 4, page 66, line 3, leave out from “notices)” to end of line 4 and insert—

“(a) in the heading, for “Delivery” substitute “Granting”;

(b) in paragraphs (1) and (2), for “delivered” substitute “granted”;

(c) in paragraph (3)—

(i) after “A licence” insert “, other than a temporary foreign vessel licence,”;

(ii) for “a nominee’s” substitute “an”;

(iii) for “delivered” substitute “granted”;

(d) after paragraph (3) insert—

“(3A) In relation to a licence or notice transmitted by electronic communication at any time during January 2021, the reference in paragraph (3) to 24 hours is to be read as a reference to one hour.

(3B) A temporary foreign vessel licence communicated in accordance with regulation 3(1A) is to be treated as granted immediately it is published in accordance with that provision.”;

(e) in paragraph (5) (in both places), for “delivered” substitute “granted”.”

56: Schedule 4, page 66, line 4, at end insert—

“(6) In regulation 5 (time at which licences and notices to have effect), in paragraph (a)—

(a) after “3(1)” insert “or (1A)”;

(b) for “delivered” substitute “granted”.”

57: Schedule 4, page 66, line 30, at end insert—

“(ba) for the definition of “notice” substitute—

““notice” means a notice of variation, suspension or revocation of a licence;”;

58: Schedule 4, page 66, line 44, at end insert—

““temporary foreign vessel licence” means a licence that—

(a) is granted in respect of a foreign fishing boat, and

(b) has effect for a period of no more than three weeks.”

59: Schedule 4, page 66, line 46, leave out paragraph (a) to paragraph (c) on page 67 and insert—

“(a) in paragraph (1)—

(i) after “A licence” insert “, other than a temporary foreign vessel licence,”;

(ii) for the words from “the owner” to the end substitute “an appropriate recipient (“P”)”;

(b) after that paragraph insert—

“(1A) In paragraph (1) “an appropriate recipient” means—

(a) in relation to a licence or notice relating to a relevant fishing boat—

(i) the owner or charterer of the fishing boat, or

(ii) a nominee of the owner or charterer;

(b) in relation to a licence or a notice, relating to a foreign fishing boat, the owner or charterer of the fishing boat.”;

(c) in paragraph (2), after “A licence” insert “, other than a temporary foreign vessel licence, ”;

(d) after paragraph (3) insert —

“(3A) A temporary foreign vessel licence is to be granted to the owner or charterer of a foreign fishing boat by communicating it to the relevant person by—

(a) transmitting it to the relevant person by means of an electronic communication, and

(b) subsequently publishing it on the website of the Marine Management Organisation or of a person granting the licence on its behalf.

(3B) In paragraph (3A), “the relevant person”, in relation to a foreign fishing boat, means—

(a) if the fishing boat is registered in a member

State, the European Commission;

(b) if the fishing boat is registered in a country or territory that is not a member State, the authority in that country or territory that is responsible for the regulation of fishing boats.”; (e) omit paragraph (8).”

60: Schedule 4, page 67, line 10, at end insert—

“(5) In regulation 4 (time at which licences are delivered and notice given)—

(a) in the heading and paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (4), for “delivered” substitute “granted”;

(b) after paragraph (4) insert—

“(4A) In relation to a licence or notice transmitted by means of an electronic communication at any time during January 2021, the reference in paragraph (4) to 24 hours is to be read as a reference to one hour.

(4B) A temporary foreign vessel licence communicated as described in regulation 3(3A) is treated as granted immediately it is published in accordance with that provision.”;

(c) in paragraph (7) (in both places), for “delivered” substitute “granted”.

(6) In regulation 5 (time at which licences and notices have effect), in paragraph (a), for “delivered” substitute “granted”.”

61: Schedule 4, page 68, line 4, at end insert—

“(f) after that definition insert—

““temporary foreign vessel licence” means a licence that—

(a) is granted in respect of a foreign fishing boat, and has effect for a period of no more than three weeks.”

62: Schedule 4, page 68, line 6, leave out paragraphs (a) to (c) and insert—

“(a) in paragraph (1)—

after “A licence” insert “, other than a temporary foreign vessel licence,”;

omit “Northern Ireland”;

for the words from “the owner or charterer of the boat” to the end substitute “an appropriate recipient”;

(b) in paragraph (2), after “A licence” insert “(other than a temporary foreign vessel licence)”;

(c) in paragraph (3), for the words from “the owner or charterer of the boat” to the end substitute “an appropriate recipient”;

(d) after paragraph (4) insert—

“(4A) In paragraphs (1) to (4), “an appropriate recipient” means—

(a) in relation to a licence or notice relating to a Northern Ireland fishing boat—

(i) the owner or charterer of the fishing boat, or

(ii) a nominee of that owner or charterer;

(b) in relation to a licence or notice relating to a foreign fishing boat, the owner or charterer of the fishing boat.

(4B) A temporary foreign vessel licence is to be granted to the owner or charterer of a foreign fishing boat by delivering it to the relevant person by—

transmitting it to the relevant person by means of an electronic communication, and

subsequently publishing it on the website of the Department or of a person granting the licence on its behalf.

(4C) In paragraph (4B), “the relevant person”, in relation to a foreign fishing boat, means—

if the fishing boat is registered in a member State, the European Commission;

if the fishing boat is registered in a country or territory that is not a member State, the authority in that country or territory that is responsible for the regulation of fishing boats.””

63: Schedule 4, page 68, line 20, at end insert—

“(5) In regulation 4 (time when licences are delivered and notices given), after paragraph (4) insert—

“(4A) In relation to a licence or notice transmitted by means of an electronic communication at any time during January 2021, the reference in paragraph (4) to 24 hours is to be read as a reference to one hour.

(4B) A temporary foreign vessel licence delivered as described in regulation 3(4B) is treated as delivered immediately it is published in accordance with that provision.”

(6) In regulation 5 (time when licences, variations, suspensions or revocations have effect), in paragraph (a), after “3(2)” insert “or (4B)”.”

64: Schedule 4, page 68, line 22, at end insert—

“Sea Fish Licensing (Wales) Order 2019

22 The Sea Fish Licensing (Wales) Order 2019 (S.I. 2019/507 (W. 117)) (which has not come into force) is revoked.

Sea Fishing (Licences and Notices) (Wales) Regulations 2019

23 The Sea Fishing (Licences and Notices) (Wales) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/500 (W. 116)) (which have not come into force) are revoked.

Sea Fish Licensing (England) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

24 The Sea Fish Licensing (England) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/ 523) (which have not come into force) are revoked.

Sea Fish Licensing (Foreign Vessels) (EU Exit) (Scotland) Order 2019

25 The Sea Fish Licensing (Foreign Vessels) (EU Exit) (Scotland) Order 2019 (S.S.I. 2019/87) (which has not come into force) is revoked.

Sea Fishing (Licences and Notices) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

26 The Sea Fishing (Licences and Notices) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (S.S.I. 2019/88) (which have not come into force) are revoked.

Fishing Boats Designation (EU Exit) (Scotland) Order 2019

27 The Fishing Boats Designation (EU Exit) (Scotland) Order 2019 (S.S.I.

2019/345) (which has not come into force) is revoked.”

65: Schedule 4, page 69, line 21, at beginning insert—

“(1) Regulations made under section 4B of the Sea Fish (Conservation) Act 1967 (regulations supplementary to sections 4 and 4A of that Act) in relation to licences under section 4 of that Act have effect on and after the coming into force of paragraph 6(2) as if they were made under paragraph 7(1) of Schedule 3 to this Act.”

66: Schedule 6, page 72, line 19, at end insert—

“(c) require the Scottish Ministers, or another person, to publish specified information about financial assistance given in accordance with the scheme.

(4A) In sub-paragraph (4)(c) “specified” means specified by the scheme; and information that may be specified under that provision includes information about—

(a) the recipient of the financial assistance;

(b) the amount of the financial assistance;

(c) the purpose for which the financial assistance was given.

(4B) The scheme may not impose a duty to publish information where its publication would (taking the duty into account) contravene the data protection legislation (within the meaning of the Data Protection Act 2018).”

67: Schedule 6, page 73, line 19, at end insert—

“(c) require the Welsh Ministers, or another person, to publish specified information about financial assistance given in accordance with the scheme.

(4A) In sub-paragraph (4)(c) “specified” means specified by the scheme; and information that may be specified under that provision includes information about—

(a) the recipient of the financial assistance;

(b) the amount of the financial assistance;

(c) the purpose for which the financial assistance was given.

(4B) The scheme may not impose a duty to publish information where its publication would (taking the duty into account) contravene the data protection legislation (within the meaning of the Data Protection Act 2018).”

68: Schedule 6, page 74, line 19, at end insert—

“(c) require the Northern Ireland department, or another person, to publish specified information about financial assistance given in accordance with the scheme.

(4A) In sub-paragraph (4)(c) “specified” means specified by the scheme; and information that may be specified under that provision includes information about—

(a) the recipient of the financial assistance;

(b) the amount of the financial assistance;

(c) the purpose for which the financial assistance was given.

(4B) The scheme may not impose a duty to publish information where its publication would (taking the duty into account) contravene the data protection legislation (within the meaning of the Data Protection Act 2018).”

69: Schedule 8, page 80, leave out lines 19 to 23

70: Schedule 8, page 81, line 43, leave out from “State” to “under” in line 44 and insert “, or of any of the sea fish licensing authorities,”

71: Schedule 8, page 84, leave out lines 3 to 7

72: Schedule 8, page 85, line 26, after “of” insert “sea fishing by”

73: Schedule 8, page 85, line 26, at end insert—

“(3A) Provision which does not fall within sub-paragraph (3)(a), but which would do so but for a requirement for the consent of a Minister of the Crown imposed under Schedule 7B to the Government of Wales Act 2006, may be included in regulations under paragraph 6 or 8 with the consent of the Secretary of State.”

74: Schedule 8, page 85, line 28, leave out from “State” to “under” in line 29 and insert “, or of any of the sea fish licensing authorities,”

75: Schedule 8, page 87, leave out lines 39 to 43

76: Schedule 8, page 89, line 16, leave out from “State” to “under” in line 17 and insert “, or of any of the sea fish licensing authorities,”

77: After Schedule 8, insert the following new Schedule—

“CONSERVATION OF SEALS

PART 1

AMENDMENT OF THE CONSERVATION OF SEALS ACT 1970

1 The Conservation of Seals Act 1970 is amended in accordance with paragraphs 2 to 12.

2 For section 1 (prohibited methods of killing seals) substitute—

“1 Prohibition of the killing, injuring or taking of seals

A person commits an offence if the person intentionally or recklessly kills, injures or takes a seal.” 3 Omit section 2 (close seasons for seals).

4 Omit section 3 (orders prohibiting killing seals).

5 In section 4 (apprehension of offenders and powers of search and seizure), in subsection (1), in paragraph (c) for “seal, seal skin, firearm, ammunition or poisonous” substitute “seal, item or”.

6 In section 6 (forfeitures), for the words from “any seal or seal” to the end substitute—

“(a) any seal or seal skin in respect of which the offence was committed;

(b) any item (but not a vehicle or boat) or substance used in connection with the commission of the offence;

(c) any seal, seal skin, poisonous or explosive substance, explosive article, firearm or ammunition, in the person’s possession at the time of the offence.”

7 In section 8 (attempt to commit offence), in subsection (2)—

(a) after “poisonous” insert “or explosive”;

(b) after “substance” insert “, any explosive article”;

(c) omit “the use of which is prohibited by section 1(1)(b) of this Act”.

8 In section 9 (general exceptions)—

(a) in subsection (1)—

(i) for “2 or 3” substitute “1”;

(ii) in paragraph (a), omit “otherwise than by his act”;

(iii) omit paragraphs (b) and (c);

(b) in subsection (2)— (i) omit “, 2 or 3”;

(ii) omit “otherwise than by his act”.

9 In section 10 (power to grant licences)—

(a) in subsection (1), in paragraph (c)—

(i) omit sub-paragraphs (i) and (iii) (but not the “or” after paragraph (iii));

(ii) after sub-paragraph (ii) insert—

“(iia) the protection of animal or human health or public safety,”;

(b) after subsection (1) insert—

“(1A) Nothing in subsection (1) is to be read as authorising the grant of a licence for the purpose of the protection, promotion or development of commercial fish or aquaculture activities within the meaning of the Fisheries Act 2020 (see section 51 of that Act).”

10 In section 11 (entry upon land)—

(a) in subsection (1), omit paragraph (b);

(b) in subsection (2), omit paragraph (d);

(c) in subsection (4)—

(i) omit the words from “, or in the” to “28 days’ notice,”;

(ii) omit the words from “; and in the case” to the end;

(d) omit subsection (5).

11 Omit section 14 (orders).

12 In section 15 (interpretation), at the appropriate places insert—

““explosive article” means an article (for example, a bomb or a firework) containing one or more explosive substances;”;

““explosive substance” means a substance or preparation, not including a substance or preparation in a solely gaseous form or in the form of vapour, which is —

(a) capable by chemical reaction in itself of producing gas at such a temperature and pressure and at such a speed as could cause damage to surroundings; or

(b) designed to produce an effect by heat, light, sound, gas or smoke, or a combination of these as a result of a non-detonative, self-sustaining, exothermic chemical reaction;”;

““preparation” means a mixture of two or more substances or a solution of any substance or substances;”.

PART 2

AMENDMENT OF THE WILDLIFE (NORTHERN IRELAND) ORDER 1985

13 The Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 (1985/171 (N.I. 2)) is amended in accordance with paragraphs 14 to 19.

14 In Article 10 (protection of certain wild animals), in paragraph (4A), for paragraphs (a) and (b) substitute— “(a) a seal (pinniped), or”.

15 In Article 11 (exceptions to Article 10)—

(a) after paragraph (1) insert—

“(1A) Article 5(5) (as it applies to Article 10 by virtue of paragraph (1)) applies in relation to seals (pinnipedia) as if—

(a) in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) the words “otherwise than by his unlawful act” were omitted, and

(b) sub-paragraph (c) were omitted.”;

(b) after paragraph (3) insert—

“(3A) Paragraph (3) applies in relation to seals (pinnipedia) as if

“or to fisheries” were omitted.”

16 In Article 18 (power to grant licences), after paragraph (3) insert—

“(3ZA) But a licence may not be granted under paragraph (3) that permits the killing, injuring or taking of seals (pinnipedia) for the purpose of preventing damage to fisheries.”

17 In Schedule 5 (animals which are protected at all times), in the table, for the entries for “Seal, common” and “Seal, grey” substitute—

“Seal Pinniped” 18 In Schedule 6 (animals which may not be killed or taken by certain methods), in the table, for the entries for “Seal, common” and “Seal, grey” substitute—

“Seal

Pinniped”

“Seal Pinniped” 19 In Schedule 7 (animals which may not be sold alive or dead at any time), in the table, for the entries for “Seal, common” and “Seal, grey” substitute—

“Seal

Pinniped”

“Seal Pinniped””

“Seal

Pinniped””

78: Schedule 9, page 93, line 12, leave out “2010 (S.I. 2010/940)” and insert “2017 (S.I. 2017/1012)”

79: Schedule 9, page 96, line 37, leave out “2010 (S.I. 2010/940)” and insert “2017 (S.I. 2017/1012)”

80: Schedule 9, page 100, line 13, at end insert—

“(10A) An order under this section that contains provision for the charging of fees for permits (including provision changing the level of fees) is subject to the affirmative procedure (see Part 2 of the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010) (asp 10)).”

81: Schedule 9, page 100, line 14, leave out “An” and insert “Any other”

82: Schedule 9, page 100, leave out lines 15 and 16 and insert “that Part of that Act).”

83: Schedule 9, page 100, line 46, at end insert—

“(5) Where in reliance on subsection (4)(a) the Scottish Ministers do not comply with subsection (1) before making an order under section 137A, that order—

(a) comes into force on a date specified in the order, and

(b) remains in force (unless revoked) for such period, not exceeding 12 months, as is specified in the order.

(6) The Scottish Ministers may by further order extend the period for which an order to which subsection (5) applies is in force for a period not exceeding 12 months.”

84: Schedule 9, page 102, line 5, at end insert—

“(4) An order to which this section applies may be amended or revoked by a further order.”

85: Schedule 9, page 102, line 5, at end insert—

“Orders for marine conservation: Northern Ireland offshore region

137E Orders relating to exploitation of sea fisheries resources: Northern Ireland offshore region

(1) The Department may make one or more orders relating to the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in the Northern Ireland offshore region for the purposes of conserving—

(a) marine flora or fauna,

(b) marine habitats or types of marine habitat, or

(c) features of geological or geomorphological interest.

(2) An order under this section may be made so as to apply to any area in the Northern Ireland offshore region.

(3) An order under this section must specify the flora or fauna, habitat or type of habitat or features for the conservation of which it is made.

(4) The provision that may be made by an order under this section includes, in particular, provision falling within any of the Heads set out in subsections (5) to (7).

(5) Head 1 is provision prohibiting or restricting the exploitation of sea fisheries resources, including—

(a) provision prohibiting or restricting such exploitation in specified areas or during specified periods;

(b) provision limiting the amount of sea fisheries resources a person or vessel may take in a specified period;

(c) provision limiting the amount of time a person or vessel may spend fishing for or taking sea fisheries resources in a specified period.

(6) Head 2 is provision prohibiting or restricting the exploitation of sea fisheries resources without a permit issued by the Department, including—

(a) provision for the charging of fees for permits;

(b) provision enabling conditions to be attached to a permit;

(c) provision enabling the Department to limit the number of permits issued by it.

(7) Head 3 is—

(a) provision prohibiting or restricting the use of vessels of specified descriptions;

(b) provision prohibiting or restricting any method of exploiting sea fisheries resources;

(c) provision prohibiting or restricting the possession, use, retention on board, storage or transportation of specified items, or items of a specified description, that are used in the exploitation of sea fisheries resources;

(d) provision for determining whether such items are items of a specified description.

(8) An order under this section may be made—

(a) subject to specified exceptions or conditions;

(b) so as to cease to have effect after a specified period.

(9) An order under this section may make different provision for different cases, including in particular— (a) different times of the year,

(b) different means or methods of carrying out an activity, and (c) different descriptions of sea fisheries resources.

(10) In this section “specified” means specified in the order.

(11) In this section, and in sections 137F to 137H, “the Department” means the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland.

137F Consultation etc regarding orders under section 137E

(1) Before making an order under section 137E the Department must—

(a) consult the Secretary of State,

(b) if the order would or might affect the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in the English offshore region, consult the MMO,

(c) if the order would or might affect the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in the Scottish offshore region, consult the Scottish Ministers,

(d) if the order would or might affect the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in the Welsh offshore region, consult the Welsh Ministers, and

(e) consult any other person whom they think fit to consult.

(2) The Department must publish notice of the making of an order under section 137E.

(3) The notice under subsection (2) must—

(a) be published in such manner as the Department think is most likely to bring the order to the attention of any persons who are likely to be affected by the making of it;

(b) give an address at which a copy of the order may be inspected.

(4) Where the Department think that there is an urgent need to make an order under section 137E to protect the Northern Ireland offshore region—

(a) subsection (1) does not apply,

(b) the notice under subsection (2) must also state that any person affected by the making of the order may make representations to the Department.

(5) Where in reliance on subsection (4)(a) the Department does not comply with subsection (1) before making an order under section 137A, that order—

(a) comes into force on a date specified in the order, and

(b) remains in force (unless revoked) for such period, not exceeding 12 months, as is specified in the order.

(6) The Department may by further order extend the period for which an order to which subsection (5) applies is in force for a period not exceeding 6 months.”

137G Interim orders made by the Department

(1) The Department may make one or more orders relating to the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in the Northern Ireland offshore region for the purpose of protecting any feature in any area in that region if the Department thinks—

(a) that the appropriate authority should consider whether to designate the area as an MCZ, and

(b) that there is an urgent need to protect the feature.

(2) An interim order under this section must contain a description of the boundaries of the area to which it applies (which must be no greater than is necessary for the purpose of protecting the feature in question).

(3) Subsections (4) to (10) of section 137E apply to an interim order under this section.

(4) An interim order under this section—

(a) comes into force on a date specified in the order, and

(b) remains in force (unless revoked) for such period, not exceeding 12 months, as is specified in the order.

(5) The Department may by further order extend the period for which the interim order is in force for a period not exceeding 6 months.

(6) The Department must publish notice of the making of an interim order under this section.

(7) The notice under subsection (6) must—

(a) be published in such manner as the Department think is most likely to bring the order to the attention of any persons who are likely to be affected by the making of it;

(b) give an address at which a copy of the order may be inspected;

(c) state that any person affected by the making of the order may make representations to the Department.

(8) The Department must keep under review the need for an interim order under this section to remain in force.

(9) In this section “feature” means any flora, fauna, habitat or feature which could be a protected feature if the area in question were designated as an MCZ.

137H Further provision as to orders made under section 137E or 137G

(1) This section applies to any order made under section 137E or 137G.

(2) The Department must send a copy of any order to which this section applies to the Secretary of State and to any person consulted under section 137F(2).

(3) The Department must—

(a) make a copy of any order to which this section applies available for inspection at such place as the Department thinks fit for that purpose at all reasonable hours without payment;

(b) provide a copy of any such order to any person who requests one.””

86: Schedule 9, page 102, line 6, at end insert—

“(1A) In the heading, omit “by Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers”.”

87: Schedule 9, page 102, line 15, at end insert—

“(2B) This section also applies where the Department of Agriculture,

Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland has the function of —

(a) deciding whether to make an order under section 137E;

(b) deciding whether to make an order under section 137G.”

88: Schedule 9, page 102, line 16, leave out “or Scottish Ministers” and insert “, the Scottish Ministers or the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland”

89: Schedule 9, page 102, line 22, after “134A,” insert “134B,”

90: Schedule 9, page 102, line 23, leave out “or 137C” and insert “, 137C, 137E or 137G”

91: Schedule 9, page 102, line 41, leave out “or 137A(6)” and insert “, 137A(6) or 137E(6)”

92: Schedule 9, page 103, line 14, at end insert—

“27A In section 189 (power of Welsh Ministers in relation to fisheries in Wales)—

(a) in subsection (1), for “Subject to subsection (2), the” substitute “The”;

(b) omit subsection (2).”

93: Schedule 9, page 103, line 27, leave out “or 137C” and insert “, 137C, 137E or 137G”

94: Schedule 9, page 104, line 10, at end insert—

“(15) Where the fisheries exploitation legislation consists of an order made under section 137E or 137G of this Act (orders relating to Northern Ireland offshore region), this section applies as if—

(a) references to a marine enforcement officer included a person appointed as such by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland,

(b) for the purposes of subsection (3)(a), the relevant enforcement area were Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland inshore region and the Northern Ireland offshore region, and

(c) subsections (3)(c) and (d) and (4) to (6) were omitted.”

95: Schedule 9, page 104, line 13, leave out “or 137C” and insert “, 137C, 137E or 137G”

96: Schedule 9, page 104, line 15, leave out paragraph 30 and insert—

“30 (1) Section 316 (regulations and orders) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (4)(a)—

(a) for “137” substitute “137G”; (b) after “MCZs” insert “etc”.

(3) In subsection (6), before paragraph (a) insert—

“(za) any order under section 137E that contains provision for the charging of fees for permits (including provision changing the levels of fees),”.”

97: Schedule 10, page 104, line 35, at end insert “, and

(c) paragraph 15 makes consequential amendments.”

98: Schedule 10, page 105, line 39, at end insert—

“Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1393/2014

3A (1) Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1393/2014 establishing a discard plan for certain pelagic fisheries in north-western waters is amended as follows.

(2) In Article 1 (subject matter)—

(a) the existing text becomes paragraph 1;

(b) in that paragraph, for the words from “in the north-western” to “that Regulation” substitute “and applies to waters within ICES subarea 5B that are within United Kingdom waters and to waters within ICES subareas 6 and 7 that are not within Union waters”;

(c) after that paragraph insert—

“2 In paragraph 1, “United Kingdom waters” and “Union waters” have the meaning they have in Regulation (EU) No 1380/ 2013.”

(3) In Article 2 (survivability exemption), in paragraph 6 for “and 2020” substitute “, 2020 and 2021”.

(4) In Article 3a (de minimis exemptions in the years 2018, 2019 and 2020)— (a) in the heading, for “and 2020” substitute “, 2020 and 2021”;

(b) in points (a), (b) and (c), for “and 2020” substitute “, 2020 and 2021”.

(5) For Article 5 (entry into force) substitute—

“Article 5

Expiry

This regulation ceases to have effect at the end of 31 December 2021.”

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1395/2014

3B (1) Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1395/2014 establishing a discard plan for certain small pelagic fisheries and fisheries for industrial purposes in the North Sea is amended as follows.

(2) In Article 1 (subject matter)—

(a) the existing text becomes paragraph 1;

(b) in that paragraph, for the words from “in the North” to “that Regulation” substitute “and applies to waters within ICES division 2a and subarea 4 that are within United Kingdom waters”;

(c) after that paragraph insert—

“2 In paragraph 1, “United Kingdom waters” has the meaning it has in Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013.”

(3) In Article 3a (de minimis exemption in the years 2018, 2019 and 2020)—

(a) in the heading, for “and 2020” substitute “, 2020 and 2021”; (b) in the body, for “and 2020” substitute “, 2020 and 2021”.

(4) Article 4a (Danish North Sea coast) is revoked.

(5) For Article 5 (application) substitute—

“Article 5

Expiry

This regulation ceases to have effect at the end of 31 December 2021.””

99: Schedule 10, page 106, line 4, at end insert—

“Regulation (EU) 2017/2403

4A Regulation (EU) 2017/2403 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets is revoked.”

100: Schedule 10, page 111, line 31, at end insert—

“Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2238

8A (1) Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2238 specifying details of implementation of the landing obligation for certain demersal fisheries in the North Sea for the period 2020-2021 is amended as follows.

(2) In Article 3 (exemptions for Norway lobster)—

(a) in paragraph 1, omit point (b);

(b) omit paragraph 3.

(3) In Article 6 (exemption for plaice)—

(a) in paragraph 1, omit point (c);

(b) in paragraph 2, in point (b), for “80-99” substitute “80”; (c) omit paragraph 4.

(4) In Article 8 (exemption for turbot), omit paragraph 2.

(5) In Article 10 (de minimis exemptions)—

(a) in point (f) after “6% in 2020” insert “and 2021”;

(b) in each of points (f), (h) and (k) to (n), omit the words from “the de minimis” to the end;

(c) after point (n) insert—

“(o) in fisheries by vessels using bottom trawls (OTB, OTT, TB, TBN) of mesh size 80-99mm in the United Kingdom waters of ICES subarea 4 and ICES Division 2a:

a quantity of Norway lobster below the minimum conservation reference size, which shall not exceed 2% of the total annual catches of that species.”

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2239

8B (1) Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2239 specifying details of the landing obligation for certain demersal fisheries in North-Western waters for the period 2020-2021 is amended as follows.

(2) In Article 6 (exemption for plaice), omit paragraph (2).

(3) In Article 8 (de minimis exemptions)—

(a) in paragraph 1, in each of points (d) to (k), omit “in 2020”;

(b) omit paragraph 2.

Council Regulation (EU) 2020/123

8C In Council Regulation (EU) 2020/123 fixing for 2020 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Union waters and, for Union fishing vessels, in certain non-Union waters, in Article 14 (remedial measures for cod in the North Sea), omit paragraphs 2 to 4.”

101: Schedule 10, page 112, line 11, at end insert—

“Consequential amendments

15 (1) In the Sea Fishing (EU Recording and Reporting Requirements) (Scotland) Order 2010 (S.S.I. 2010/334) (as amended by the Exit Regulations)—

(a) in article 2, in paragraph (1)—

(i) omit the definition of “Regulation 2017/2403”;

(ii) in the definition of “third country recording and reporting requirement” omit paragraph (ii) (and the “or” before it);

(b) in that article, for paragraph (5) substitute—

“(5) Any expression used, and not defined, in this Order that is used in the Control Regulation or Regulation 404/2011, or that is used in both of those Regulations, has the meaning it has in the Regulation or Regulations in which it is used.”;

(c) in article 6, omit paragraph (2);

(d) in Schedule 2, in the table, omit the entries relating to Regulation 2017/2403.

(2) In the Sea Fishing (EU Control Measures) (Scotland) Order 2015 (S.S.I. 2015/320) (as amended by the Exit Regulations), in article 2(1)—

(a) omit the definition of “Regulation 2017/2403”;

(b) in the definition of “third country control measure”—

(i) omit “Regulation 2017/2403 or”;

(ii) omit paragraph (a).

(3) In this paragraph “the Exit Regulations” means the Fisheries (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (S.S.I. 2019/24).”

Motion on Amendments 23 to 101 agreed.