Shetlands (MV Braer Incident)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:25 pm on 11th January 1993.

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Photo of Mr Ian Lang Mr Ian Lang , Galloway and Upper Nithsdale 4:25 pm, 11th January 1993

I understand, as does the rest of the House, why the hon. Gentleman was unable to be here earlier. I am happy to pay tribute to the commitment that he has shown to the interests of his constituents in all aspects of this matter.

As I said earlier, we are involved in urgent consultations with Shetland Islands council and others over the precise details of the bridging fund. I will make further details available as soon as I possibly can, but I hope that the hon. Gentleman will understand that it is not possible at the moment to spell out in more detail the way in which it will operate.

I am happy to endorse what the hon. Gentleman said about the actions of the Shetland Fishermen's Association and others in relation to the need to maintain confidence in the quality of the island's produce. I imposed an exclusion order on the area most affected around Sumburgh last week to maintain confidence in their produce, particularly fish and farmed fish. I welcome the support of the Shetland Fishermen's Association, which took an extremely responsible posture in supporting me. I hope that confidence in its products will be quickly restored.