Digital Scotland criticisms of HIAL centralisation show a bad plan badly executed – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has commented on the release today of a report by a Digital Scotland into HIAL’s plans to centralise Air Traffic Control, which found “major” issues and concerns threatening the viability of the project, labelling it as a chance to make a “fresh start” and to scrap the plans.

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Scottish Tourism Alliance research shows challenge facing reopening hospitality businesses

The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) this week has raised concerns about the supposed summer “boom” for Scottish tourism, following a survey of businesses. Research by the STA suggests that the majority of rural hotels in Scotland have had lower than 50% occupancy through the month of May, while 38% of respondents are taking below 20% of their normal food and drink income (with just 11% of respondents taking between 76 – 100% of the norm).

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ONS trade drop figures demonstrate structural harm of economic barriers – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has said that today’s release of Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures on EU trade make clear the structural harm caused by new economic barriers.

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Urgent need for EU citizens in the isles to apply for settled status

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for any remaining EU citizens in the isles who have not already applied for settled status with the UK government to do so urgently. EU citizens who were resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 have the right to apply for settled status but must do so before 30 June.

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Planning farming sell-out in advance shows Government incompetence on trade – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called out government “incompetence” after it emerged that ministers have agreed to sell out UK farmers and crofters in order to get a trade deal with Australia. Mr Carmichael responded to reports in the Sun that the Prime Minister had already decided to concede zero tariff, zero quota access for Australian goods ahead of further negotiations in order to secure a deal, putting the economic security of farmers and crofters at risk. Farming and environmental groups have expressed strong concerns about an open access deal due to Australia’s lower welfare standards, including the use of growth hormones. Australian farming leaders have predicted a “tenfold” rise in beef exports to the UK if a deal is struck.

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Carmichael highlights food production role in isles economy

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out in Parliament about the essential role of food production in the isles economy, and reiterated calls for changes to animal transport rules to take the circumstances of the isles into account. Mr Carmichael highlighted the Scottish Government’s consultation on changes to transport regulations and warned that there would be severe impacts if allowances were not made for the isles.

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“Predatory” Co-op risks isles economic ecosystem – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out today about his concerns relating to the Co-op’s plans to expand operations in Shetland communities. Speaking in a parliamentary debate on UK meat and dairy produce, Mr Carmichael highlighted the important role played by independent shops in the isles and their role in supporting local food producers.

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Crisis of confidence in the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out about a “crisis of confidence” in the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency, following evidence that the agency was targeting local vessels more than international fishing boats for inspections. Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland Mr Carmichael highlighted the problems found with centralised, distant authorities for fisheries and called for a redesign in fisheries management.

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Clarity on isles restrictions good but questions remain on consultation – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has reacted to the First Minister’s announcement today that the Northern Isles would come out of Covid restrictions at the same time as the rest of Scotland, with a move to Level 2 on 17 May. The news comes after almost a month of doubt over the status of Scottish islands in restriction changes, after a confusing and poorly implemented survey was released with little information some weeks ago.

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Reappearance of Pesorsa Dos Shows Need for Action on Gill Netters – Wishart and Carmichael

Responding to news that the Spanish gillnet trawler Pesorsa Dos is again fishing to the west of Shetland, Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael said:

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