Lords investigate post-Brexit fisheries

THE House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee will open its short inquiry into Brexit and UK fisheries policy with evidence from academic and industry experts on Wednesday, September 7.
The UK’s exit from the European Union will mean leaving the Common Fisheries Policy, allowing the UK the opportunity to redesign its fisheries management policy and re-evaluate its relationship with the EU.
The committee will explore some of the UK’s interests in a future fisheries relationship with the EU and what opportunities the UK has to protect those interests after Brexit.
The witnesses will give evidence on issues such as the role of historic access rights in controlling access to UK waters, the commitments to co-operate with the EU and other coastal states under international law, and what the industry wishes to achieve from a future EU-UK relationship regarding fisheries.
The House of Lords EU Committee and its six sub-committees are conducting a coordinated series of short inquiries looking at the key issues that will arise in the forthcoming negotiations on Brexit. Taken as a whole, this programme of work will be the most extensive and thorough parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit.
The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee will begin this work with two evidence sessions in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords.
The first session will focus on what opportunities the UK has under international law to control fishing activities in UK waters and what commitments the UK has to co-operate with the EU, and other coastal states, on the sustainable management of fish outside the Common Fisheries Policy.
The second session will focus on the interests of fishermen and the seafood industry and how important European co-operation is to the industry.
At 10:30am the committee will speak to:
Dr Bryce Stewart, University of York, a marine ecologist and fisheries biologist
Richard Barnes, University of Hull, Professor of International Law
Robin Churchill, University of Dundee, Professor of EU Law
At 11:45am the committee will speak to:
Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations
Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation
Marcus Coleman, CEO, Seafish
Hazel Curtis, chief economist, Seafish
The committee is likely to cover areas including:
What opportunities and challenges does leaving the EU present for the fishing industry?
What role does trade with the EU and access to the EU market play for the industry?
What obligations does the UK have under international law to cooperate and coordinate fisheries management with the EU and neighbouring states? To what extent will it be in the UK’s interest to do so?
What historical access rights does the UK have and would other states be entitled to revoke these, if the UK restricts access to UK waters?
Picture: Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation