Fisheries: Total Allowable Catches and Quotas 2001

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Mr. Nicholls: Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Morley: I have only two minutes, so I shall finish my point.

The hon. Member for Teignbridge mentioned national control. We cannot turn back the clock, although people can argue that decisions taken in the past were not in this country's best interests. The idea of establishing national control needs to be further explained. Which vessels will be excluded from our waters and what will be the consequences for our fishermen fishing in non-UK waters? How will that be achieved if fishermen do not agree? It was rightly said that that issue was one of treaty change, which would require abolition of the veto. The Conservative party is not keen on doing that, and people should not make false promises to the fishing industry.

The Council will be difficult. Hon. Members who have spoken agree on the issues on which we need to concentrate. I shall certainly try to address those issues and obtain the best deal for our industry. I shall also try to keep an eye on sustainability, sound science and the long-term future and viability of the UK fishing industry.

Question put and agreed to.


    That the Committee takes note of the unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum dated 28th November 2000 from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, relating to the fixing of fishing opportunities for 2001 and certain conditions under which they may be fished; recognises that a number of fish stocks have fallen to particularly low levels; and supports the Government's intention to sustain stocks for the future, and assist recovery of those stocks which are in danger of collapse, while negotiating the best possible fishing opportunities for UK fishermen.

Committee rose at one minute to Seven o'clock.

The following Members attended the Committee:
O'Brien, Mr. Bill (Chairman)
Dean, Mrs.
Dobbin, Mr.
Foster, Mr. Michael Jabez
Gibson, Dr.
Gill, Mr.
Quinn, Mr.
Smith, Sir Robert
The following also attended, pursuant to Standing Order No. 119(2):
Begg, Miss Anne (Aberdeen, South)
Blizzard, Mr. Bob (Waveney)
Butler, Mrs. Christine (Castle Point)
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey (Cotswold)
Doran, Mr. Frank (Aberdeen, Central)
George, Mr. Andrew (St. Ives)
Kirkwood, Mr. Archy (Roxburgh and Berwickshire)
McNulty Mr. Tony (Harrow, East)
Mitchell, Mr. Austin (Great Grimsby)
Morley, Mr. Elliot (Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)
Moss, Mr. Malcolm (North-East Cambridgeshire)
Nicholls, Mr. Patrick (Teignbridge)
Steen, Mr. Anthony (Totnes)

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