SNP SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT DEMAND IMMIGRATION DISCUSSIONS
For immediate use; Thursday 11th June 2009
POLITICAL / FISHERIES CORRESPONDENTS
SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands Rob Gibson today welcomed Scottish Government efforts to ensure Scotland’s fishing industry is not left crewless by the decision of the UK Government to repatriate Filipino Crew members, particularly on Scotland’s north west coast as he raised the issue at First Minister's Questions.
In answer to a question from Mr Gibson First Minister Alex Salmond said Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead had requested an urgent meeting with the UK immigration minister to discuss the issue and to ensure there was a sensible period of adjustment to any new immigration rules.
Under UKBA’s current proposals there are fears parts of Scotland’s fleet could be shut down due to a lack of crews.
Speaking after FMQs Rob Gibson commented;
“The UK Government must agree to an urgent meeting to resolve what could be a devastating decision for Scotland’s fishing industry.
“The Scottish Government’s efforts to secure a meeting will be welcome news to the industry.
“The UK Government has acted with no thought for the consequences of their decision for Scotland’s coastal communities and fishing industry.
“There can be no delay in getting this issue sorted out.
“The efforts of the industry and the Scottish Government to encourage new domestic entrants are welcome however the Filipino crew members provide a vital service that supports our industry and the UK Government should not be able to bring an arbitrary end to that role.”