Local News for Monday 28th May 2018
‘Utter dismay’ at Westminster inaction on fishing
Western Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil has expressed ‘utter dismay’ after leaving the Home Office with no good news for the West coast fishing industry last week. He met with UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes MP to urge reintroduction of a scheme which allows non-European workers to fill labour gaps in the fishing fleet, as fishing vessels are left tied up for lack of crew. After the meeting Mr MacNeil said the Home Office seemed ‘impervious to any concern’ and would soon be left with only EU fishing boats in the North West of Scotland. He said: “Having met our sixth Immigration Minister in eight years, it is like talking to a brick wall at the Home Office. We’re back to making the case which we made to five previous ministers. This is despite having Michael Gove, the DEFRA Cabinet Secretary on side. I will be contacting him again to ask for his intervention in this matter. Channel 4 News covered this story showing the difficulty and the acute near-emergency we have in fishing in the Hebrides. Everyone on the West Coast wants to see people come from the Philippines and Ghana to work on our fishing boats. They are decent and hard-working people who are constantly in touch with fishing processors and skippers to see if they can come back. This summer we will not have any help on our fishing boats, the Conservative-run Home Office are certainly not choosing the economy as we will know to our cost and peril on the West Coast of Scotland.