The MP for Southend West today put forward the question of “What discussions he (Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union) has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on support for fishermen after the UK leaves the EU.”
Sir David Amess MP, an avid supporter of local fishermen, wished to ensure that the adequate measures were being taken to ensure fishermen were supported following Brexit. The local MP previously joined the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations in Parliament to discuss the future of the fishing industry following the UK's EU exit. Representing the coastal constituency of Southend West, the livelihoods of our fishermen remains of great concern to Sir David.
Sir David's question was met with a response by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Suella Braverman, who said “We continue to work closely with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on support for fishermen after we leave the European Union. The Fisheries Bill, introduced today, will allow us, for the first time since 1973, to take back control of our waters, set our own fisheries rules and exclusively determine who fishes what in our seas as an independent coastal state. That will ensure a sustainable and profitable fishing industry that will regenerate coastal communities and support future generations of UK fishermen.”
Sir David responded by asking “Sea fishermen and cocklers are greatly looking forward to our leaving the European Union at 11 o'clock on 29 March 2019, but will my hon. Friend reassure them that their expected increase in living standards will not be damaged by any extension to the transition period?”, following the suggestions that the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union may be willing to extend the 'transition period' by up to a few months.
Suella Braverman MP responded by saying “I fully recognise the importance to fishing communities in Leigh-on-Sea leaving the common fisheries policy, and my hon. Friend is a strong voice for those communities. We fully expect to negotiate as an independent coastal state in 2020 and, as the Prime Minister set out earlier this week, the interests of UK fishermen are at the forefront of our thinking as we consider the different options that have been proposed. What is clear is that, when EU rules no longer apply, the UK will be making its own decisions. We will control access to our own waters and we will seek to gain a fairer share of quotas.”
The MP for Southend West hopes to make it clear that he supports fishing communities, not only in his constituency, but also across the country as a whole.