More action needed on Hong Kong as Beijing tightens control – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has this week spoken out in a parliamentary debate on the continuing human rights situation in Hong Kong and the need for further action from the UK government. Mr Carmichael highlighted recent actions by Beijing to curtail BBC activities in Hong Kong and the lack of engagement by the UK government with financial institutions like HSBC which have been supportive of repressive laws in the territory. The debate comes as the UK government has released its latest six month report on Hong Kong, declaring China to be in “a state of ongoing non-compliance with the Joint Declaration”.

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Dog has eaten Home Office homework – Carmichael

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Home Affairs, Alistair Carmichael, has today called for greater independent inspections for asylum accommodation, as supported by the British Red Cross, in light of the latest ruling of unlawful behaviour by the government. Mr Carmichael raised concerns in Parliament about the need for real independent inspections, as the report from a past inspection in February continues to sit with the Home Office for publication.

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Time for greater support for carers – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for greater awareness and support for carers after the Covid pandemic, during this year’s Carers Week. Carers Week is an annual campaign to recognise the contribution of unpaid carers across the UK, which has become increasingly important during the pandemic. Mr Carmichael joined a Carers Drop-In event on Monday to discuss the challenges faced by carers in the past year.

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Unlawful behaviour on government contracts should be a wakeup call – Carmichael

Liberal Democrat spokesperson on constitutional reform, Alistair Carmichael MP, has called for greater respect for the rule of law from the government after a High Court ruling that ministers acted unlawfully in awarding a contract to a research firm linked to Dominic Cummings, the former chief adviser to prime minister Boris Johnson. In her ruling the judge decided that a failure to consider other firms could be seen as suggesting a “real danger” of bias.

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Disappointing decision to reject amendment to protect international aid – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out about the “disappointing” decision to reject an amendment to protect the 0.7% Gross National Income commitment to international aid. The Speaker of the House ruled that the amendment was out of scope of the Bill under discussion, but urged the Government to bring a binding vote on the matter to Parliament urgently.

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“Irresponsible” for Home Secretary to raise visa fees for foreign healthcare workers

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Home Affairs, Alistair Carmichael MP, has today responded to reports that the Home Secretary Priti Patel intends to increase visa fees for a range of foreign workers including healthcare workers, labelling the plans “short-sighted” and “irresponsible”.

The Home Secretary is considering removing the UK from part of the European Social Charter that gives citizens of 26 countries a £55 discount on application fees for most worker visas, including those in the healthcare and charity sectors, entrepreneurs and seasonal workers such as fruit pickers. There are fears that the change will make it harder for the NHS and other organisations to get the support they need.

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Carmichael condemns “irresponsible” unilateral Norwegian action on fishing quotas

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today condemned a move by Norway to unilaterally increase its fisheries quota following the failure of current negotiations with the UK, calling the action “irresponsible”. Norway has moved to raise its annual north-east Atlantic mackerel quota by more than half (over 100,000 tonnes), in a move similar to controversial actions by Iceland and the Faroe Islands in the past.

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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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