§ Mr. Garnier
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the outcome of the Fisheries Council held in Brussels on 23 November; and if he will make a statement.317W
§ Mr. Jack
I attended a meeting of the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 23 November, with my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office.
The Council discussed the arrangements to apply when Spain and Portugal are integrated into the common fisheries policy on 1 January 1996. I reiterated my determination to resist any proposals which would impose new bureaucratic restrictions on British fishermen and to protect the Irish box. A wide range of views was expressed. The Presidency decided that it was not possible to reach a decision at this meeting of the Council and is reflecting on how to take matters forward but with the firm intention of reaching a decision at the December Council meeting.
The Council approved a number of measures concerning the organisation of the fisheries market, guide prices and tariff quotas. These items will be adopted formally in due course.
A proposal establishing rules for monitoring trade in certain Norwegian fishery products was adopted.
The Council considered the recent decision of the North West Atlantic Fisheries Organisation on the Greenland halibut TAC. This resulted in no new proposal.
The Council noted the Commission's report on the state of its negotiations with Russia for the purchase of 8,000 tonnes of cod, action which was agreed as part of the enlargement negotiations earlier this year.
The Council remitted for further work a Commission proposal on permits for EU vessels fishing in third country waters.
No votes were taken at this Council.