Local News for Thursday 1st November 2018

ISLES MP STANDS UP FOR FREEDOM OF RELIGION
Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil attended the parliamentary launch of CSW’s toolkit on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) recently.
The event saw the launch of humans rights organisation CSW’s toolkit on FoRB.

The newly-published toolkit recognises the important role of MPs and Peers in advocating for FoRB in the global context where more than three-quarters of the world’s population live in countries with severe restrictions on their religious freedom.

Mr MacNeil said: ‘I was pleased to attend CSW’s event and collect a copy of their toolkit on FoRB alongside receiving up to date briefings on the situation of FoRB around the world from CSW’s expert advocates.

‘I am committed to standing up for this fundamental human right, and urge the UK Government to do all it can to promote, protect and enable the enjoyment of FoRB for every religious community around the world without discrimination’.


MSP RAISES EASTERN AIRWAYS FLIGHTS WITH FIRST MINISTER
Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar raised Eastern Airways decision to withdraw their service between Stornoway and Aberdeen with Nicola Sturgeon, at First Minister’s Questions recently.

This decision is very much at odds with previous statements from the company, which have historically outlined a commitment to this service, and to island connectivity. The company also announced an expansion to this particular service, with increased flights just 7 months ago, back in March. In light of this, the announcement has come as a significant surprise.

Commenting, Dr Allan said: ‘Given Eastern Airways’ very disappointing decision to end this service, at such short notice, I felt compelled to raise this very important issue with the First Minister.

“I am pleased that the First Minister offered her assurances that her government is committed to ensuring connectivity between Scotland’s islands and the mainland, and has now asked the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, and Connectivity to engage with the airline’.


SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TO GAIN POWERS OVER FISHING
The Scottish Government will see a significant increase in its decision making powers as the UK Government introduced a new Fisheries Bill into Parliament recently.

For the first time since 1973, the Fisheries Bill will enable the UK to control who may fish in our waters and on what terms. The Bill also gives the UK the power to implement new deals negotiated with the EU and with other coastal States and manage fisheries more effectively and sustainably in future.

Leaving the EU will mean that the Scottish Government and the other Devolved Administrations will see a significant increase in powers when it comes to fisheries management. Combined with this will be a deeper commitment to collaborative working across the Administrations where appropriate.

The Scottish Government will receive new powers to regulate its sea fisheries resources to preserve the marine environment. This will allow the Scottish Government to protect its coastal and off shore marine habitats.