Cold Weather Payment triggered across Shetland

A Cold Weather Payment has been triggered for Shetland following a prolonged period of cold weather in the isles. £25 will be paid to eligible residents in Shetland.

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DEFRA Secretary Eustice must step aside after shellfish fiasco – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called on DEFRA Secretary George Eustice to resign after reports that the Government had privately admitted that a ban on live shellfish exports to the EU was in fact legal despite public denials. The U-turn from the Government came just hours after George Eustice stood in Parliament and claimed that the EU was in the wrong over the ban, which affects shellfish businesses across the UK, including some which have already closed permanently over the trade change. A DEFRA spokesperson sidestepped the claims, made by the Shellfish Association of Great Britain.

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Seafood Disruption Support Scheme opens – Carmichael reacts

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has reacted to the opening of the Seafood Disruption Support Scheme by the Government, warning that exporters affected by trading disruption would be “disappointed” by the limitations of the scheme. The Government has come under pressure to compensate seafood businesses after many in the isles and around the UK faced severe losses in January following the UK’s departure from the EU Single Market.

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Carmichael welcomes fresh vote of confidence in Shetland Space Centre

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed news that a launch provider, ABL, has been selected for Lockheed Martin’s planned partnership with the Shetland Space Centre.

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Call to make Northern Isles digital infrastructure ‘fit for the 21st Century’

Northern Isles representatives Beatrice Wishart MSP, Liam McArthur MSP and Alistair Carmichael MP hosted a virtual roundtable involving local councillors, community council representatives as well as officials from Scottish Government and HIE to discuss how digital connectivity in the Northern Isles can be improved. The roundtables revealed the scale of the challenge in both communities and the difficulties experienced during a pandemic as a result of people having to work or study from home with poor or no internet access.

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Isles representatives call for renewed support for Scottish press

Northern Isles representatives, Alistair Carmichael MP, Beatrice Wishart MSP and Liam McArthur MSP have written to the Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes regarding their concerns about the Scottish Government’s plans to cut business rates relief for press outlets. In an urgent letter, the representatives highlight the vital role local press in particular has played in providing trusted information during the pandemic and the need for further support through the recovery to ensure a diverse media landscape throughout the Highlands and Islands.

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Isles representatives write to Ofgem in response to energy price cap rise

Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart and Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, have written to the Chief Executive of Ofgem in response to today’s announcement of a rise in the energy price cap from April. In the letter Ms Wishart and Mr Carmichael highlight their concerns about the impact of the rise on those suffering from fuel poverty in the Northern Isles, and call for specific measures on the part of Ofgem to take into account the unique factors affecting islanders.

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Warm words no longer enough – Uighur genocide must be recognised

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called for the Government to end delays and take steps to recognise the genocide of the Uighur people in China. Mr Carmichael spoke in an urgent debate in Parliament following a new BBC report which detailed allegations of systematic rape of Uighur women in Chinese camps. According to estimates, more than a million Uighurs and other minorities have been detained in camps in China.

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Scottish ministers should not interfere with space industry growth in the isles – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today spoken out in a debate on the future of the UK space industry by recognising the progress of the Shetland Space Centre on Unst and warning against ministers favouring one spaceport site over another. Mr Carmichael highlighted recent partnership announcements by Lockheed Martin and High Impulse with the Shetland site, and reminded ministers that those companies in the industry were best placed to know how to develop its potential.

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SNP want to triple down on Brexit trade disruption – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has reacted to a new analysis by the London School of Economics which found that the costs of trade disruption from Brexit to Scotland would be doubled or tripled by independence. The LSE report suggests that per capita income would drop by between 6.3 and 8.7% with independence, with rejoining the EU making only a small dent in the loss due to the far larger trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK. The report does not take into account other disruptions including currency or the fiscal costs of independence.

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