Agriculture Bill: Covid-19 demonstrates vital and fragile role of farming and food

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called on the government to protect the “vital” farming industry in light of their importance during the coronavirus crisis. Commenting as Parliament considers the Agriculture Bill with impacts on food standards for future trade deals, the former farming spokesperson noted that the Bill would not receive the normal degree of scrutiny due to the limitations on parliamentary time caused by coronavirus.

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Furlough extension welcome but challenges remain for self-employed and tourism – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed news of an extension to the government furlough scheme in a speech in the House of Commons, but noted that further action was needed to address particular needs for self-employed people and the tourism industry. Mr Carmichael called for a 12-month programme of support for tourism to reflect its seasonal nature.

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Carmichael calls for UK government action amid “political virus” attacks on Hong Kong protests

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael MP, has called on the government to explain its plan for British Nationals Overseas (BNO) passport holders in Hong Kong in light of increasing Chinese interference. Speaking virtually in the House of Commons, Mr Carmichael highlighted Chinese statements and actions the undermine the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the treaty between the UK and China which underpins Hong Kong’s constitutional independence.

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£1M promotional campaign reminder of need to support dairy sector – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed the announcement of a £1 million promotional campaign led by the UK dairy sector to encourage shoppers to buy more milk and dairy products. Mr Carmichael noted the need for further support for the dairy industry during a period of significant upheaval, due to the closure of hospitality outlets and vital export markets. More than half of UK farmers have had their milk price cut due to the disruption.

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Carmichael joins cross party campaign for new starter furlough support

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has joined a cross-party move to extend the government’s support for furloughed workers to include new starters who are currently excluded from the scheme.  He has given his support to a parliamentary motion highlighting the fact that many people who recently joined a company are unable to access the support that approximately 1-in-5 UK workers benefit from. In recent days ministers have suggested that the furlough scheme will be “wound down”.

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Carmichael pushes for testing website clarity for the isles

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today pressed the Health Secretary to ensure that government websites gave accurate information on access to coronavirus testing for key workers. Supporting the concerns of isles constituents, Mr Carmichael highlighted confusing information on the government site which suggested that key workers would have to travel south as far as Peterhead in order to access testing.

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Carmichael backs 12 month recovery support for tourism industry

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has put his support behind a cross-party motion to provide a 12-month financial support package for the tourism industry. The motion, led by Mr Carmichael’s colleague, Cumbria MP Tim Farron, recognises the seasonal nature of the tourism sector and its position as one of the hardest-hit areas of the economy, and calls on the government to reflect this in its support.

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Carmichael renews calls for coronavirus universal basic income

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has written an opinion piece for the Sunday Herald calling for the government to reconsider its opposition to a coronavirus Universal Basic Income. In the editorial, Mr Carmichael noted his past scepticism of basic income proposals, but argued that gaps in current financial support meant that too many people were being left behind and that a new approach was needed.

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Carmichael co-sponsors cross-party motion to cut tourism VAT

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has this week co-sponsored a cross-party motion to cut VAT on tourism in light of the economic impact of coronavirus. The motion recognises the importance of tourism to the UK economy and the potential benefits of a cut in VAT for tourism to help the hard-hit industry recover.

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Northern Isles parliamentarians challenge Ministers to consider all lockdown approaches

Northern Isles Parliamentarians have called on Scottish Ministers to fully consider and openly engage with all potential approaches to easing lockdown restrictions, following further statements by Professor Hugh Pennington of the University of Aberdeen before the Scottish Parliament’s Health Committee today (Tuesday).

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