Alistair Carmichael, MP for the Northern Isles, has attended a meeting with Brendan Lewis, the Immigration Minister, to discuss the issue of visas for fishing crews coming from outside the EU. This followed up on a question Mr. Carmichael asked the Minister earlier in the week. Mr. Carmichael encouraged the Minister to ensure that visas for the fishing industry were issued as skilled workers, rather than transit visas, a change that the industry has sought, for some time.
Commenting after the meeting, Mr. Carmichael said:
“The Minister seemed to be engaged and willing to listen to concerns around the visa system for the fishing industry. He has undertaken to examine an industry proposal where bodies such as the Producer Organisations might manage visas that were allowed. This could be a sensible compromise.
“The fishing boats need to have the freedom to fish where the fish are, not merely where their visa allow. A revised visa system would also allow us to have confidence that non-EU crews could be given the same protection as everyone else on the boats.”