Mr Carmichael let MPs in outlining a range of concerns for fishermen across the country as a result of sudden Home Office changes to visa rules, all of which were ignored by the responding minister Sarah Dines MP.
Speaking after the debate Mr Carmichael said:
“Fishermen will hear the response today from the minister not as an answer but as an insult. It would be easy to say that the fishermen I have spoken to are simply angry – but they were not. They just sounded utterly desolate and desperate.
“This decision is economically illiterate, politically inept and morally indefensible. The Conservatives may not care for fishermen but you would think they would care about the knock-on effects to processing, to hospitality – and of course to food price inflation. With inflation still running rampant they cannot afford so many own goals.
“These are real people in island and coastal communities being affected. One skipper bought a boat and quota for £1.4million, still owes about £680,000 and now faces ruin if he cannot go to sea. Another skipper who owns two Orkney crab boats does not have the crew to shift his creels legally now – either to bring them onshore or to move them beyond the 12-mile limit.
“These are people who have worked hard, saved, borrowed, invested to grow a business to provide for them and their families and which they can then, in turn, hand on to the next generation to maintain the communities that they call to home and to provide us all with food on our plates.
“They have been promised the earth by the Conservatives and now when they need this tiny piece of help the Home Office is nowhere to be seen. If it is allowed to stand then the Tories need not go looking for votes in fishing communities again for another generation.”