HC Deb 20 October 1976 vol 917 cc1442-4
33. Mr. Sillars

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next intends to discuss with the Council of Ministers the question of extended limits and amendments to the common fisheries policy.

36. Mr. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on fishing limits in relation to the common fisheries policy.

Mr. Tomlinson

The Commission's proposals of 23rd September contained, in addition to recommendations on the internal fisheries régime, a recommendation that member States should extend their fisheries limits in the North Sea and the North Atlantic to 200 miles on 1st January 1977. This subject was discussed in the Council on 18th and 19th October, and discussion will continue at a meeting of EEC Foreign Ministers on 29th and 30th October.

There has been no specific discussion of or significant progress on the reform of the Community internal fisheries régime which will operate within the extended limits, and the British Government have described the coastal arrangements proposed by the Commission as wholly unacceptable. This remains our view.

Mr. Sillars

Am I right in thinking that the briefing material that our negotiators and the Community negotiators have includes maps showing the authorised positions in respect of exclusive zones? Could maps with these markings be made available to us?

Mr. Tomlinson

No, my hon. Friend is not right about that.

Mr. Henderson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the report in The Times today on the position of the Irish Government? Will he say whether the British Government will align themselves with the Government of Ireland in insisting that there can be no external EEC zones until arrangements for our own internal zones have been completed with the fishing industry?

Mr. Tomlinson

No. It is of fundamental importance to the British fishing industry that we should get a mandate for negotiations with third countries without delay.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. There is to be a statement on this matter after Questions.