During last week’s debate on reform of the common fisheries policy, I raised the issue of the Shetland box, the retention of which has not been explicitly confirmed by the European Commission in its reform package. Does the minister know whether the Shetland box is to be retained? If it is not, will the minister support its retention?
There has been no decision yet on the future of the Shetland box and that was not one of the key issues discussed at the negotiations. As members can imagine, that was due to the fact that this week‟s negotiations were on the general approach to the reform process. Many of the individual measures within the regulations will be negotiated in the future. We have, however, asked the European Commission why the Shetland box was missing from the draft regulations that it published, and we await an answer from the Commission.