Orkney MP Alistair Carmichael makes call for evidence from UK seafood industry
MP for Orkney and Shetland, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Home Affairs, Northern Ireland and Constitutional Reform, Alistair Carmichael has secured a parliamentary debate to discuss the impacts of Brexit on the UK seafood industry.
Carmichael has secured a parliamentary debate on 13 July to discuss the consequences of the UK’s departure from the EU, a move that has been lobbied for by fishermen for many years. He has also called on fishermen and representatives from the seafood industries to contact him in a ‘call for evidence’ on the impacts they have suffered since 01 January 2021 due to Brexit.
Carmichael’s ‘call for evidence’ coincides with yet another video clip allegedly showing how a local whitefish trawler is forced from its traditional fishing grounds by another vessel, north of Shetland.
Carmichael said: “Six months have now passed since we departed from the Common Fisheries Policy, from the European Union and from the frictionless trading relations we had before January.
“In those six months fishermen and the many businesses surrounding the fishing industry have felt let down by a government that promised them a ‘sea of opportunity’ but delivered only red tape and disappointment. It is time to take stock of the situation.
“Every fisherman, every processor and every exporter I have spoken to in the past months has presented me with a litany of frustrations with the government. These run the gamut, from lost markets due to trade barriers, unfulfilled promises over quota uplift or simply lack of access to needed worker support.
“The list is long but ministers have not listened. After six months, the coming debate is a chance to change the narrative – and make our voices heard.
“Any responsible government would conduct a public review of its policy decisions on fishermen. Absent any such accounting, it is up to us to take ministers to task and demand answers on what has become quite a comprehensive range of failures on fishing.
“I am calling for anyone involved in the fishing industry to get in touch about their concerns so that we can make the strongest case possible.”
Alistair Carmichael can be contacted via his constituency office in Lerwick on 01595 690044 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org