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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Government support needed to ensure isles lead on commercial rollout of marine renewables

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken in a parliamentary debate on the report of Climate Assembly UK, advocating for government support in the commercialisation of marine energy. Mr Carmichael highlighted the Northern Isles’ long history of supporting UK energy needs and its potential as a hub of marine renewables, and pressed the Government to introduce further support to encourage green growth. The MP also wrote to ministers this week in light of a draft EU report planning an uplift in marine energy capacity through to 2050.

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SNP “sitting on their hands” on fish landing Brexit preparations

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has said that there is “no excuse” for the Scottish Government being short on vital health inspectors needed for post-Brexit checks of fishing catches. After 31 December all landed fish to be exported to the EU will require an official health certificate, but the Press and Journal has reported that the Scottish Government has not recruited sufficient inspectors for demand, with just over a month to go.

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Isles food producers secure ministerial commitments on export concerns

Following a meeting today chaired with Michael Gove, George Eustice and Northern Isles food producers on the upcoming end to the EU transition period, Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael welcomed the opportunity for business leaders to put their concerns directly to ministers. In the meeting Mr Gove and Mr Eustice reiterated that they were making all efforts to secure a trade deal with the EU and that UK food standards would not be reduced.

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Japan deal welcome for Northern Isles produce but many concerns remain – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed continued protections for Northern Isles produce in the UK-Japan trade deal in Parliament this week, but voiced concern about potential risks to privacy and data rights in the deal. Speaking during a debate on the trade deal Mr Carmichael reiterated that a lack of clarity over future relations with the far-larger European market would overshadow progress with Japan.

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Spending review a retreat in ambition from the Chancellor – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has responded to today’s Spending Review by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, calling it a “retreat in ambition” from the Government. The Chancellor’s speech included a partial public sector pay freeze and a significant cut to international development, but made no reference to help for those excluded from pandemic economic support or to the impact of the end of the EU transition period, coming in 37 days.

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Broken promises of “full control” over fisheries will not be forgotten – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has voiced concern over reports that the UK Government may agree to a ten-year review for fisheries quotas in a trade deal with the EU. Reports over the weekend have suggested that the Government would break promises made to fishermen that the UK would be able to renegotiation access to UK waters yearly, in order to secure a wider deal with the EU.

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Carmichael to Kwarteng: EU draft plan shows need to lead on marine energy

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today written to the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, calling for greater ambition in support for marine energy. Mr Carmichael highlighted a leaked draft policy document from the EU outlining its ambitions to dramatically ramp up the use of wave and tidal energy sources, with a goal of 60 gigawatts generated by 2050, and noted that it is “clearer and clearer that other state actors are willing to ramp up their investment in marine energy in order to support their climate change goals”.

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