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Fisheries Bill inaction highlighted

Alistair Carmichael MP

ORKNEY and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has highlighted in the House of Commons the government’s inaction on the Fisheries Bill.

The Bill is intended to provide the governing framework for UK fishing after Brexit but has not made any progress since November 2018.

Speaking in the House, Mr Carmichael said: “The Fisheries Bill has tremendous importance to my constituency. There is a broad measure of cross-party support, but it has been in limbo since the end of November of last year. Will we get that bill before the government tries to prorogue again?”

Responding for the government, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Leader of the House said: “The government is satisfied that all the bills that are needed prior to leaving the EU are in place. It is not essential that these bills make progress.

“That does not stop the bill being amended when it comes back and amended in a way that does not achieve government policy, and therefore it is unlikely that they will make progress.”

Commenting after the exchange Mr Carmichael said: “Jacob Rees-Mogg argues that the Fisheries Bill cannot be moved forward, simply because it might be amended. If that is their logic, then you wonder why they introduce any legislation at all. His argument lays bare the sense of entitlement and arrogance that defines the way that this government goes about its business.”

“It will not be lost on fishermen that Jacob Rees-Mogg regards the first Fisheries Bill to be debated in the Commons for years as “not essential”. His attitude echoes his 1970s predecessors, who described the industry as “expendable”. Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg and others are quick to use the fishing industry as a political football when it suits their purposes. At any other time, they clearly could not care less.”

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