Peter Aldous urges the Government not to compromise on fishing in the EU trade negotiations as the renaissance of the East Anglian fishing industry depends on there being significantly more fish available to land in ports such as Lowestoft and a framework for investment in ports and processing.
Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con)
The REAF—Renaissance of East Anglia Fisheries—project sets out an exciting vision for the renaissance of the East Anglian fishing industry. Two preconditions for achieving this are the certainty that significantly more fish will be available to land in ports such as Lowestoft and that there is a framework for promoting investment in ports and the processing sector. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that these two requirements are not being compromised in the negotiations that are taking place?
I can give my hon. Friend those assurances. Clearly, fish is one of the sticking points. The negotiating team are obviously working very hard, but it is a sticking point because we will not compromise on these issues. I have to say, in a former life I was coastal communities Minister and, having visited his constituency and discussed the potential that is there for the renaissance of that industry, I think that is a prize worth holding out for.