Carmichael pushes ministers for progress on reducing biometrics hurdles for islanders

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has pressed the Government on challenges faced by Northern Isles residents needing to register biometrics for visas and other immigration issues. Pressed on the costs and time required for islanders to go south for biometrics, the Immigration Minister Kevin Foster suggested that progress was coming to reduce the need for in-person registration.

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Time for accountability on failed SNP investments

Scottish Liberal Democrat MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for accountability over SNP financial missteps after it emerged that over £500m of Scottish Government guarantees and hundreds of jobs could be at risk due to the collapse of Greensill. The concerns come after a series of failed SNP investments including the Ferguson shipyard and BiFab.

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Carmichael highlights need for recovery support for hospitality

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out in a parliamentary debate on hospitality, calling for recognition of the integrated nature of the industry in rural and island communities and the need for long-term support for the recovery. Mr Carmichael reiterated the case for a long-term cut to hospitality VAT and the need for any end to fiscal support to be varied region by region and industry by industry.

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New immigration plans against human decency – Carmichael

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael MP, has condemned the Government’s plans for a new system for immigration and asylum as inhumane and regressive. Mr Carmichael voiced concern after the Home Secretary refused in Parliament to give any detail on the numbers of refugees who would be supported under any new system, while the new command paper includes suggestions that asylum seekers could be processed offshore or in third countries.

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Sanctions on Chinese human rights abusers welcome but far more action needed – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed news that the Government will join the EU and US in introducing targeted sanctions against Chinese officials involved in human rights abuses against the Uyghur people, but warned the Foreign Secretary that he must go further to see meaningful change from Beijing. The Government later voted down the “Genocide Amendment” to the Trade Bill, which would have blocked future trade deals with countries judged to have committed genocide.

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Rapidly reaching “point of no return” on UK marine energy industry – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today joined cross-party colleagues in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Marine Energy in challenging the Energy Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP to do more to support the growth of marine and tidal energy technology in the UK. Mr Carmichael highlighted to the minister today’s announcement of a new electric vehicle charging point in Shetland, powered by Nova Innovation’s tidal array in the isles.

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Carmichael recognises lockdown anniversary ahead of Coronavirus Act vote

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken about the one-year anniversary of lockdown ahead of a vote on renewing the Coronavirus Act. On the 20th March last year Mr Carmichael met with the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, alongside other senior opposition MPs, to discuss the Government’s response to the spread of coronavirus. MPs met in 10 Downing Street for talks relating to an emergency bill to respond to the disease, which became the Coronavirus Act.

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Carmichael opposes vaccine passport plans

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out in a parliamentary debate against the idea of “vaccine passports”. Mr Carmichael criticised the idea of a mandated identification to prove vaccination, which has raised concerns about issues of privacy, individual choice, and discrimination against people of different health statuses, amongst other worries. The Government is currently conducting a feasibility review on the idea.

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Turing exchange scheme “big step back” – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for a rethink of the Government’s planned Turing exchange scheme, after it emerged this week that the new programme would be significantly less generous and with fewer study opportunities than the Erasmus programme it was supposed to replace.

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Government should not dismiss permanent cut to tourism and hospitality VAT – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for the Government to assess the potential benefits of a permanent reduction in VAT for tourism and hospitality in order to give businesses confidence in future growth. Hospitality businesses have been some of the hardest-hit throughout the pandemic, being shut down or severely curtailed for almost a year and with little prospect of a quick return to normal tourist seasons in the short term.

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