“Tremendous prize”: Carmichael leads parliamentary debate calling for greater support for marine renewables

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called on the government to provide “finely tuned” support to enable the growth and commercialisation of marine renewables. Highlighting successful projects in both Orkney and Shetland and around the UK, Mr Carmichael said that unlocking investment in wave and tidal energy could see the UK lead the world and generate high quality jobs for coastal communities.

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Two vital months wasted as ministers retreat from international lawbreaking – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed news that the government will withdraw plans to breach international law over Brexit. The UK and EU have reached agreement on how rules in the Brexit divorce deal relating to Northern Ireland's borders will work in practice. Government plans to override provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement had threatened to jeopardise ongoing post-Brexit trade talks.

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Carmichael to lead debate on support for marine energy

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, will lead a parliamentary debate on government support for marine renewables. Mr Carmichael secured the debate after recently raising concerns about the potential for other countries to overtake the UK’s head start in the sector and the importance of investing in green innovation ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next year. The MP has coordinated with renewables groups ahead of the debate, including the European Marine Energy Centre based in Orkney, RenewableUK and the Marine Energy Council.

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Carmichael calls for clarity over promised support on sheep

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has written to Michael Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal planning, to ask him to give full detail on promised support for sheep farmers in the event of a no-deal Brexit. When Northern Isles food producers met last week with Gove and the DEFRA Secretary, George Eustice, they were told that ‘mechanisms’ were in place to support farmers and crofters in the event of disruption caused by a no-deal scenario or price collapse.

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Connectivity 200 times slower in isles than in cities demands a real universal service obligation

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has highlighted the “chasm” in connectivity between cities and island communities in a speech to Parliament. Mr Carmichael highlighted a factor of 200 between many islanders’ connections and those found in cities in calling for a recognition of market failure for rural and island connectivity. Highlighting outrageous quotes given to connect households under the “Universal Service Obligation”, he also called on the national and devolved governments to work together and reduce confusion and competing programmes for high-speed internet.

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We walk away from the right to peaceful protest at our peril – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has voiced renewed concern about the ban on protests put in place during the current lockdown in England. Speaking in Parliament during a debate on renewed restrictions and under his remit as Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson, Mr Carmichael highlighted the importance of the right to protest even during the pandemic, saying that “we walk away from that at our peril”.

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Carmichael welcomes confirmation on isles vaccine capacity

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed news today that the first Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK and will be rolled out starting next week. Mr Carmichael said it was “encouraging” that officials had already confirmed that island health boards would be ready to store the vaccine locally.

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Alarm bells should be ringing at Ofgem after isles meeting – Carmichael and Wishart

Isles representatives Alistair Carmichael MP and Beatrice Wishart MSP have called on energy regulator Ofgem to take a more “proactive” approach to supporting energy customers in the isles after a meeting this week. Mr Carmichael and Ms Wishart presented a range of evidence from constituents frustrated by poor customer service, inconsistent access to competitive tariffs and price hikes in the past few years. The isles team agreed to share their full set of evidence with Ofgem ahead of a second meeting in the coming weeks but warned that there should be “alarm bells” at the regulator given the range of problems identified.

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Clarity needed on future agricultural scheme funding – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for clarity over the future funding mechanism for agricultural payments across the UK. The Government confirmed this week that the initial Scottish budget for the post-EU agricultural scheme would be £595m but has not confirmed how future budgets would be determined in the longer term.

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PM’s U-turn on fishing visas shows little understanding of issues – Carmichael

Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has criticised the Prime Minister for an apparent U-turn on fishermen’s access to skilled deckhands, after the PM made a commitment to tackle the issue earlier this month. The Prime Minister met and discussed the issue with isles fishermen in July and more recently told Mr Carmichael he would instruct Home Secretary Priti Patel to “seize the matter”.

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