This week, I am writing from Brussels. I have been representing the UK in my role as Fisheries Minister, at the annual fisheries negotiation. This is my fifth year leading our negotiating team, and it is a particularly exciting time for our fishermen as we plan our exit from the European Union.
If we want a future for our fishing industry then we need to fish sustainably. If we hammer vulnerable stocks today then there will be no fish and no fishermen tomorrow. It is not always easy for people to think about the long term when they are considering fishing opportunities for next year but we must. Some have urged me to forget the scientific advice and just argue against all cuts in quota but I will not ditch the science.
I have always been clear that on leaving the EU, the UK will continue to be a world leader in promoting sustainable fisheries and we will continue to cooperate with all our neighbours. We will not allow a free for all and one of the conditions of any future access we grant will be that all vessels fish sustainably and within limits to protect our marine environment.