Fishing Industry: Visas for Non-EEA Citizens

Part of Petition - Home Education: Draft Guidance and Consultation – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 11th July 2018.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland) 7:00 pm, 11th July 2018

If anybody should know it would be the Scottish White Fish Producers Association, as its members are the people who are completely immersed in and engaged with the industry. They know what they talk about, so when they say 10 years, it is pretty clear that that will be a reasonable estimate. I would have to say that 10 years is too long to wait. Another 10 weeks or 10 months might be manageable, but if it is 10 years, these boats will no longer be there. There will no longer be the need in 10 years, one way or another.

I understand that the Minister feels that she is caught between a rock and a hard place in respect of her party’s manifesto commitments at the last general election, particularly in relation to the cap on immigration numbers—for net migration, that is. We have discussed this previously, so I understand her position, although I personally doubt whether a scheme of this sort would actually make any difference to that cap. I would be interested to hear the Minister’s view about that.