Results 1–20 of 8600 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: My statement concerns the administration of Greensill Capital UK Ltd and its implications for businesses in Scotland. At the outset, I emphasise that the subject matter concerns sensitive commercial affairs, so I will be careful in my remarks and in answers to members’ questions, in order to avoid saying anything that might breach commercial confidences or cause harm. I hope that members,...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I can assure Mr Fraser that continued operation of the smelter and the steelworks are foremost in our objectives. I made that absolutely clear when I met trade union representatives on Monday, when we had an extremely useful discussion. In that discussion, they shared with me their view that the workforce in both plants are optimistic and confident about the future ability of the plants to...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I thank Monica Lennon for her question—she asked several questions, in fact. I can say that GFG Alliance is seeking to undertake a refinancing. That is a sensitive commercial matter and we need to be careful not to prejudice or undermine the process. I stress that we will do everything in our power to assist the steel and aluminium businesses and support their highly skilled workers. Back...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: In my opening statement, I went over the number of jobs that have been provided. Those jobs are valuable and I hope that the Liberal Democrats support that—they certainly do locally in Lochaber. I am pleased that we have received assurances on the safeguarding of 165 jobs and the creation of 44 new jobs at Lochaber. I am also pleased that the company has assured us that it has invested more...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I am not quite sure that I caught all that, but the company’s plans for expanding activities at Lochaber are in the public domain; I can share more information on that with Mr Finnie. Those plans, rather than involving the automotive sector and a wheels factory, now involve the billets market, which is broader, I think, and offers real opportunities for job creation. They also include plans...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Like Clare Adamson’s family, many families in the centre of Scotland have the steel industry very close to their hearts and many people have seen their sons and, indeed, daughters work in the plant. That is a story that we wish to continue, particularly as we explore low-carbon opportunities. I believe that the workers at the plant want that positive story to be told and their hard work to...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: My officials and I were closely involved in detailed work when we renegotiated the original plan that was approved by the Finance and Constitution Committee, in order to alter the business plan and move away from the model that was reliant on the automotive sector, for reasons that I described earlier, towards more profitable opportunities. We also had professional advice on those plans...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The one clear reason why we took the approach that we did in offering support only to businesses with plans for long-term operations of the Lochaber businesses, including the smelter, was that if we had not done that, the outcome might have been that whereas the hydro asset might have found a purchaser, the smelter would not, and the last smelter in Britain would have shut. That was what...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I do not think that it is correct to say that I washed my hands of responsibility. I understand, from the company, that there were substantial discussions with community interests, including community councils, and that those took place over a long period. There were also quite detailed discussions about one particular aspect or project that took place. The company has advised us that there...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: In my statement, I set out the information that I thought it correct to share with Parliament, and the annual figure repayments vary. The agreement that we reached, and the guarantee that we granted, was, as Mr Mason says, explained and presented to the finance committee, for its approval, as a contingent liability. At that time, the Scottish ministers had to present all proposals to grant...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: As would be expected, at the time of the original transaction, a whole range of due diligence was undertaken. It was conducted by employing leading firms and experts in the various primary aspects that we had to check in the transaction, so I am confident that we approached it and carried out due diligence appropriately. The cross-party finance committee played its required scrutiny role, and...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: My ministerial colleagues have carried out work on the long-term future of the steel industry, and we believe that there is such a long-term future. I alluded to the fact that the market and prices in steel are very satisfactory and higher than they have been for some considerable time. As we emerge from Covid, there is optimism within the sector, so the task that we face now is to overcome...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Yes, I do, and yes, I will. I am extremely grateful for Mr Stewart’s continued support. I think that that might be David Stewart’s last contribution in Parliament. He and I have known each other since, I think, 1990, when we first stood against each other. His presence here will be sorely missed. He is one of a small band of politicians who have been councillors, MPs and MSPs, and, over a...

Scottish Parliament: Greensill Capital UK (Administration) (24 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: As one reads newspapers that are full of speculation, one does not tend to see in those columns of comment any consideration of the workforce. What struck me from meeting trade union representatives on Monday was the workforce’s sense of commitment and enthusiasm to continue doing the great work that they do in Dalzell and Fort William. The single most important thing that we can do is bear...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism Sector (Summer Holidays) (10 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The main criteria, which all operators must satisfy, are that they are following the guidance and not acting outwith the regulations at any time. The precise legal requirements for the summer season are not yet known. We continue to pursue a cautious and gradual path out of lockdown, but we are hopeful that the Scottish domestic tourism sector will be open in time for the summer season, due...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism Sector (Summer Holidays) (10 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: We are all keen to see tourism restarting, but it is correct that we take a cautious approach. The triggers for restarting will, of course, be based on an assessment of the relevant public health evidence from epidemiologists, and will proceed on that basis. However, we are hopeful that we will see significant progress, given the success in tackling the virus combined with the fact that we...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism Sector (Summer Holidays) (10 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: We have been providing additional financial support for the sector. We also wish to provide as much clarity as possible on a road map for its eventual reopening. It is important to say that the section of the Scottish tourism sector that relies on international travel has been hit hardest of all. I take this opportunity to stress just how important international inbound travel is. Only this...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism Sector (Support) (10 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Through the Scottish tourism emergency response group, the Scottish Government is working with enterprise agencies, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, VisitScotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance to develop a five-year recovery plan for the tourism sector in Scotland. Short-term measures have already been introduced, in the form of £129 million in business support. We expect to...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism Sector (Support) (10 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The member is asking about the north-east. I have engaged with tourism interests in the north-east from the outset, and quite rightly so. That included a call with VisitAberdeenshire’s chief executive, Chris Foy, just this week, and I have had numerous engagements with that agency, which has informed me about the situation in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. I understand that the BBC has...

Scottish Parliament: Inverclyde Hospitality and Tourism (Support) (10 Mar 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The Government has provided a range of support to businesses in Inverclyde as part of our overall package to mitigate the economic impact of the virus. That includes providing non-domestic rates relief to retail, hospitality and leisure premises worth £8 million in Inverclyde in the current financial year. We have also provided direct grant support to businesses in Inverclyde that have been...


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